Boffins warm to super-efficient solar cells

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A newly discovered material, dubbed 'nano flakes', could revolutionise the transformation of solar energy to electricity..

If researcher Martin Aagesen's future solar cells meet early expectations, the economy and the environment will benefit from the research which could make solar power generation viable for ordinary households.

Aagesen is a PhD from the Nano-Science Center and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Aagesen pointed out that less than one per cent of the world's electricity comes from the Sun because it is difficult to transform solar energy to electricity.

But he believes his discovery may be a "huge step" towards boosting the exploitation of solar energy.

"We believe that the nano flakes have the potential to convert up to 30 per cent of the solar energy into electricity, roughly twice the amount that we convert today," he said.

"I discovered a perfect crystalline structure. That is a very rare sight. While being a perfect crystalline structure we could see that it also absorbed all light. It could become the perfect solar cell."

Aagesen explained that the material has the potential to reduce solar cell production costs because less semiconducting silicium will be required in the process.

At the same time, the future solar cells will better exploit solar energy as the distance of energy transportation in the solar cell will be shorter thus lessening the loss of energy.
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