“The rows of blue solar panels that dot landscapes and rooftops are typically made out of crystalline silicon, the workhorse semiconductor found in virtually every electronic device.
Over the last decade, Colorado State University researchers have led pioneering studies into improving the performance and cost of solar energy by fabricating and testing new materials that extend beyond the capabilities of silicon. They have focused on a material that shows promise for replacing silicon, called cadmium telluride.
In collaboration with partners at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, researchers at CSU’s National Science Foundation-supported Next Generation Photovoltaics Center have reported a key breakthrough in how the performance of cadmium telluride thin-film solar cells is improved even further by the addition of another material, selenium. Their results were published in the journal Nature Energyearlier this month and are the subject of a “News and Views” article…”