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Nanostructures improve solar cells

Nanostructures improve solar cells
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Researchers in Europe are working on how to capture more of the sun’s enormous power and turn turn it into electricity.

It’s reckoned that the equivalent of the world’s daily energy consumption hits the earth in the form of solar rays every 17 seconds.

Photovoltaic cells use silicon crystals to convert sunlight into current.

But existing technology is sadly inefficient, transforming only about 16 per cent of solar energy into electricity.

At Lausanne in Switzerland, physicist Sylvain Nicolay is working as part of a European research project on how to improve the performance of solar panels.

He’s using nano-technology to alter the structure of the upper surface of the silicon cell – the side that faces the sun.

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