Casey Kristin Frye
Feb 8, 2012

University of Cambridge scientists increase solar panel efficiency by over 25 percent

New solar cells could increase the maximum efficiency of solar panels by over 25 percent, according to scientists from the University of Cambridge. Typically, a solar cell generates a single electron for each photon captured. Scientists from the Cavendish Laboratory, the University’s Department of Physics, have developed a hybrid cell which absorbs red light and harnesses the extra energy of blue light to boost the electrical current. By adding pentacene, an organic semiconductor, the solar cells can generate two electrons for every photon from the blue light spectrum; this could enable the cells to capture 44 percent of the incoming solar energy. The research could dramatically improve the amount of useful energy created by solar panels.