NREL Working With Natcore To Commercialize New Black-Silicon Products For Solar Cells

Scientists have created a black silicon solar cell with an average reflectance of 0.3%, making it the “blackest” solar cell ever designed.  Read more: “Blackest” Solar Cell Ever Designed Absorbs 99.7 Percent of All Light | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
Scientists have created a black silicon solar cell with an average reflectance of 0.3%, making it the “blackest” solar cell ever designed. Read more: “Blackest” Solar Cell Ever Designed Absorbs 99.7 Percent of All Light | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has expanded Natcore Technology Inc.'s original license by adding new patents, under which Natcore will develop and commercialize a line of black-silicon products for solar cells.

Natcore's anti-reflective coating process begins with an uncoated, textured silicon wafer. First, nanoscale pores are etched into the wafer surface, using gold or silver nanoparticles, by submerging the wafer for a few minutes in a liquid solution at room temperature.

Next, using the company's liquid phase deposition process, Natcore scientists fill the pores and then over-coat them with silicon dioxide. This combination step both coats and passivates, thereby allowing lower reflectance, the company explains.

NREL says its most meaningful new black-silicon patent relates to the use of copper nanoparticles in the etching process instead of nanoparticles of gold or silver.

"Because copper is less expensive than the precious metals, this new patent could enable Natcore to further reduce the cost of solar cells," explains Chuck Provini, Natcore’s president and CEO. "This could be another step toward our goal of halving the cost and increasing the output of solar cells."

Natcore scientists have created a black surface on a silicon wafer with an average reflectance in the visible and near-infrared region of the solar spectrum of 0.3%, which Natcore says makes it the "blackest" silicon solar cell surface ever recorded.

The original NREL-Natcore license was granted in December 2011. Natcore and NREL have also entered into a cooperative research and development agreement to develop commercial prototypes that embody NREL's black-silicon inventions.

Comments

Why are these morons even mentioning usage of 'precious metals' in electronics?
They are outdated and inefficient (compared to carbon nanotubes which could have been used since 1992, and synthetic diamonds since 1996).
We do have enough of them to go around (with proper implementation of recycling technology which is 100 years old by now) - just the $$$ value of these is... a different story.

There's a reason I stick with my explanation of them being morons.

Carbon nanotubes and synthetic diamonds alone would have revolutionized technology as we know it had they been used from the start (and not just beginning - which is done only because they are reaching the limits of how much money milking they can do from existing 'precious metals' that are woefully inadequate).

As gold/silver is replaced by copper in this patent, so it will reduce the cost of solar product, thus making solar products less expensive for people. Currently, solar products are expensive as the building block, silicon cells are expensive. It will be helpful to encourage people to rely more alternative sources of energy. Thanks Resume Editing Services