Towards cheaper solar cells

Towards cheaper solar cells us researchers have fabricated a solar cell out of everyday plastic, hoping to meet the growing energy demand with a more affordable way to harness the Sun.

Scientists at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California at Los Angeles (ucla), led by Yang Yang, hope their innovative new plastic (or polymer) solar cell can eventually be produced at a mere 10-20 per cent of the cost of traditional cells in order to make the technology more widely available.

Expensive option A solar cell is basically a three-layer sandwich, wherein electrons in the top layer (n-layer) get stimulated by light absorption and travel through the middle layer (junction) to the positively charged bottom layer (p-layer). The middle layer is part of an electric circuit consisting of thin connecting wires and so, electricity is generated when the electrons travel through the circuit.

Technological advancements over the past decade have pared down the cost of solar cells by one-fifth of its original cost. But even then its cost of production vis-

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