Scientists from Japan have developed a solar cell with a special atomic layer that makes it almost invisible. Thanks to its high transparency, it can theoretically be attached anywhere – even to car windows or human skin.
In the past few decades, one technology has become particularly attractive: solar technology. The prices of photovoltaic systems have been falling since 2006 by about 75 percent. The reason is technical progress and higher production capacities. But we are far from finished here either.
Solar systems still have a relatively low level of efficiency. alternatives as perovskite cells could soon replace technology. However, scientists around the world are exploring other possible uses for the technology.
Developed in Japan Scientists are now developing an almost invisible solar cell with a particularly high level of transparency. Use on windows, on car glass or on human skin is even conceivable.
The efficiency of the new solar cell is significantly higher
Almost no materials have been explored in the past that would allow the current breakthrough. However, through targeted manipulation of the contact barrier between indium and tin oxides, an invisible solar cell has been developed.
Indium tin oxide is one of the most widely used transparent oxides. Adding a thin layer of tungsten oxide made the cell transparent and conductive.
Another positive side effect: The efficiency with which incoming UV radiation is converted into energy is about 1,000 times higher than with classic indium and tin oxides. Thus, the new solar cell seems to promise high potential for future applications.
Invisible solar cell: up to 79 percent transparency
Although scientists now know how to make the new cells, it will still be some time before they can be used commercially. First of all, it is necessary to evaluate how the technology can be used in the solar panel. Only then comes scaling.
If an invisible solar cell were to reach the market, it could turn almost any surface into a small power plant. With 79 percent transparency, room darkening is minimal when used in a window. Ultimately, however, price also plays a role in order to compete with conventional solar cells.