One of the disadvantages of solar energy generation is that great amount of light is reflected away by the solar cells, which reduces their efficiency. A new anti-reflection coating, however, might be the link that has been missing.
Professor E. Fred Schubert, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, and his team, have been developing materials that can be used in photovolatics to control the refractive index (ratio of speed of light in vacuum to the speed of light through the material). According to the professor, the aim is to find material that has low refractive index, but at the same time it is dense.
The team of scientists demonstrated optical thin film materials based on ‘nanoporous’ silicon dioxide, indium-tin oxide, and titanium dioxide, which have refractive index of around 1.05. The team claims that they can control the porosity using a technique called oblique-angle deposition, where the substrate is at non-normal incidence angle with respect to the source of deposition.
These three materials were then used to create anti-reflection coating for solar cells. Professor Schubert is certain that the fabrication process of this new coating is fully compatible with current manufacturing of solar cells. He states that it would definitely contribute to the development of new generation anti-reflection solar panel coating technologies.
Via: Clean Technica