Dye-based solar cells that use photonic crystals to boost efficiency have been developed, and could find application in the production of photovoltaic windows.
A team of researchers from Spain has studied how the current produced from a photonic-crystal dye-based solar cell (PC-DSC) varies according to the angle at which light strikes it. They found it was possible to fine tune the design of the cell’s photonic-crystal back mirror so as to minimise efficiency losses associated with light approaching from an angle.
Dye-based solar cells often employ back mirrors, which reflect light back into the device that would otherwise pass straight through it, thereby increasing efficiency. Designing these back mirrors from photonic crystals ensures the solar cells remain optically transparent, making the technology idea for the development of light-sensitive window panes.