There are two major problems with the current silicon panel technology used to generate electricity. For one, silicon is inefficient in converting solar energy. The thinner the silicon panel, the less efficient it becomes. Secondly, silicon panels make up about 45 percent of the total cost of current solar power installations. So thinner panels requiring less silicon would cut down on installation costs.
Now researchers in Australia say they've found a way to make silicon films, 1 to 2 microns thick, into more efficient energy converters. The trick is to impregnate the silicon film surface with small amounts of … Read more