Current solar cells are able to convert into electricity around 20% of the energy received from the Sun, but a new technique has the potential to convert around 60% of it by funneling the energy more efficiently.
UK researchers can now ‘funnel’ electrical charge onto a chip. Using the atomically thin semiconductor hafnium disulphide (HfS2), which is oxidized with a high-intensity UV laser, the team were able to engineer an electric field that funnels electrical charges to a specific area of the chip, where they can be more easily extracted.
This method has the potential to harvest three times the energy compared with traditional systems. The researchers believe their breakthrough could result in solar panels, no bigger than a book, producing enough energy to power a family-sized house. MORE