Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gold nanoparticles boost organic solar cell efficiency

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers and colleagues from China and Japan have discovered that by incorporating gold nanoparticles into organic photovoltaics they can enhance solar power conversion by up to 20 percent.

The researchers sandwiched a layer of gold nanoparticles between two light-absorbing subcells in a tandem polymer solar cell to harvest a greater fraction of the solar spectrum.

They found that by employing an interconnecting gold-nanoparticle layer, they were able to enhance solar power conversion by as much as 20 percent. The gold nanoparticles create a strong electromagnetic field inside the thin organic photovoltaic layers by a plasmonic effect, which concentrates light so that much more of it can be absorbed by the subcells.


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