Technological revolution in the production of solar cells

Modern energy causes irreparable damage to the environment and worsens the environmental situation on the planet, which encourages engineers to work on creating renewable, safe energy sources. The most promising way to produce “clean energy” is to use an almost unlimited supply of sunlight.

However, the process of creating solar panels is currently imperfect and inhibits the development of a promising energy industry. Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA) reported a breakthrough that could significantly reduce the technological time needed to form the basis of solar panels.

In the early stages of the development of solar energy, the method of vapor phase epitaxy hydride (HVPE) was used to fabricate LEDs and photodetectors for solar cells. In 1980, this method was replaced by a more efficient MOVPE method. Now, American scientists claim that they have achieved a positive result in the development of the technological process according to the D-HVPE method.

According to the developers, the use of the new technology allowed the introduction of aluminum into the hydride vapor-phase epitaxial reactor (HVPE) and the growth of semiconductors of aluminum-indium phosphide (AlInP) and aluminum-gallium-indium phosphide (AlGaInP).

The use of a new technological process will reduce the time required for the manufacture of solar panels tenfold. If with traditional MOVPE technology for this process it takes from 60 to 120 minutes, then according to the new D-HVPE technological process, the creation of a solar cell will take about a minute.

The next step in the development of D-HVPE technology will be to achieve energy efficiency similar to MOVPE panels. The most important component in this case will be the use of more affordable and cheaper aluminum, which replaces the gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium gallium phosphide (GaInP) currently in use.

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