Alternative energy sources usingsunlight for generating electricity is becoming more efficient and constantly improved. Along with solar panels installed on rooftops or on huge ground areas, transparent panels are being developed that allow using the energy of light passing through the windows of buildings. Scientists from the National Research University ITMO (St. Petersburg) have achieved another success on the way to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of this method.
The main idea of the new method isusing window panes to generate electricity. At the same time, after gluing special films to glass, there is no significant decrease in their light-penetrating properties. The main problems with this method are the low efficiency of the system, the loss of a large amount of energy and the high cost of producing light transmitting electrodes.
ITMO scientists come up with an original ideaallowing to significantly increase the efficiency of transparent light panels. The new technology is based on the alloying method - changing the properties of a material using certain additives. The application of an ionic liquid to a special film changes the characteristics of the surface and at the same time promotes its adhesion. As a result, the new solar cell received an increased efficiency, while the light-penetrating ability of the surface remained quite high.
The developers said that for new systemsa solar cell based on small molecules with nanotubes deposited on it was used to act as an electrode. The doping method was applied to the nanotube coating using an ion gate. The conductive layer was also processed, which solves the problem of charge transfer from the active layer to the electrode. The work was carried out in normal atmospheric conditions, without the use of vacuum chambers. To give the system the necessary properties, an ionic liquid was applied to the film, and a small voltage was applied.
The new technology has been tested induring which it was revealed an increase in the efficiency of the system several times. Scientists believe the technique could be used for other solar cells as well. Experiments are currently underway with various materials, which will improve the efficiency of the technology.