|Tiny dents in solar cells could make them more efficient than ever|
…..the Warwick researchers used conductive tips to force semiconductors into a device called a nano-indenter, which deformed the individual crystals. By making the semiconductors non-symmetrical, they were able to create something called the “bulk photovoltaic effect,” another way to collect charge. Combining these two approaches resulted in improved efficiency of solar cells and the chance to generate more electrical energy from sunlight.
“This flexo-photovoltaic effect is a new effect,” Marin Alexe, a professor in the Department of Physics at Warwick, told Digital Trends. “It shows that by engineering the strain applied, any semiconductor can be transformed in a photovoltaic generator without a need [for] chemical doping or any other processing. We haven’t yet evaluated in detail how effective is this effect. But in principle there is nothing to prevent combining the two effects, the classical harvesting using p-n junctions and the present flexo-PV effect.”