Significance of Nanotechnology in Solar Cells

Categories: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a field of revolution in building thing on the scale of atoms and molecules. Results have shown that nanotechnology has enhanced manufacturing methods, water systems, energy system and also has a positive impact on pharmacy and biomedical research.The central idea of this study is to develop and enhance the applications of nanotechnology in solar cells.

In the 21st century, USA is among the top ten countries to be in relation with nanotechnology and its applications.As of October 2018, it is been estimated that more than 11 million American houses are been supplied with solar energy.

As a factor of global interest, researches investigated different methods to enhance the efficiency of transforming solar energy into an electrical voltage.

Nanotechnology is a way too advanced operation, but with a proper research and experimentation, it can contribute a substantial development in the present technology.Our study revealed that application of nanotechnology can improvise the durability and sustainability of solar cells.

The main objective of this analysis is to develop a low cost and conversion efficient solar panels for the future generation.

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Nanotechnology generate electricity by assimilating sunlight. The basic idea is to manufacture plastic by nanoscale titanium particles filmed with photovaltaic dyes, that produce electric power when they absorb light.

Several advances have consolidated nanotechnology in solar panels to concurrently enhance efficiency while also reducing manufacturing and installation costs. Despite these many advantages, there are several challenges still exist in mass-production nano-solar cells as a result of present limitations in manufacturing of nanowires and semiconducting components like gallium and silicon oxides.

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The exponential increase in demand for energy production and the exhaustion of conventional energy sources along with the rapid increase of pollution and global warming has prompted the researchers and scientists to plot the most efficient photo voltaic cells.

Future of the Photo voltaic technology is in the hands of nanotechnology based solar cells. PV materials are the devices that convert sunlight into electrical energy. A PV unit is generally a compact cell with a capacity of 1 to 2 watts. The term nanotechnology was first coined by professor Nario taniguchi. In 1981, the application of nanotechnology transpired in pharmaceutical industry . Richard Feynman is known to be the father of nanotechnology.

Getting into the details, Over the last few decades, nanotechnology in solar cells have shown us an assurance for a brighter future. Applications of solar cells are as follows:

  • Solar cells for transportation: Solar energy is used in vehicles. The main motive to use solar energy is to conserve the energy produced by fossil fuels and saving the nature from further destruction and pollution.
  • Solar cells in calculators: We all are aware of application of solar cells in calculators. The Solar powered calculators use photovoltaic cells . In simple terms, these calculators utilize the light from the sun to proceed with their operations.
  • Solar panels: Now we all are well-versed with the term solar panels. The main objective of solar panels is to provide an alternative for electricity produced from coal. This requires an expensive investment but saves a copious amount of fossil fuel.

Now the readers may get into a perplexed state that how nanotechnology is related to solar cells.

Solar cells may have a beneficial usage and a good contribution in saving nature but simultaneously it is very expensive and a working class cannot afford it all the time. The reason behind it is, the manufacturing of solar cells are associated with high cost, extremely when compared with the cost of utilizing the energy from coal and other fossil fuels. Besides that, present day solar panels drop 10 to 15 percent of absorbed energy.

The main motive to operate the nanotechnology in solar cells is to reduce the cost and enhance the working applications of solar cells. Basically, the size of nano structures lies within few hundred nanometers. Their main objective is to setup an interface between the nano structure and air. This switch in design guides the sunlight to get absorbed into the cell by the way of an alternative with reflecting away. Precisely nano particles build with silicon display functional properties.

Structure of nanotechnology based solar cell.

Crystalline Silicon (c-Si), also known as “solar grade silicon” is the most extensive bulk material used in the manufacturing of solar cells. Thin film solar cells is inclusive of :

  • Amorphous Silicon (a- Si)
  • Copper-Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS)
  • Cadmium Telluride (Cd Te)

A nanotechnology based solar cell is designed using iron oxide as a main component to produce hydrogen as a by-product. In addition to it, combination of silver nanowires, titanium dioxide nanoparticles and a polymer which absorbs infrared light so that a solar cell can absorb 70 percent of the visible light.

Significance of nanotechnology in solar cells.

Modern solar cells relied on fabrication procedures and were operated with a high expenditure. But a nano solar cells is based on colloidal synthesis that restricts the expenditure to a constrained rate.

Initially, application of DSSCs (dye-sensitized solar cells) were suggested to enhance the conversion efficiency to 11%. Silicon based photovoltaic can be replaced with these inexpensive DSSCs with first class efficiency. DSSCs provide a steady performance by making use of solvent free electrolytes. But there were many obstacles in their operation. As the electrolyte used in DSSCs was in liquid state, additional work was needed to convert it into solid sate. Besides that, solvent free electrons in DSSCs with high efficiency and stable performance is called convectional solar cells and these cells consists of semiconducting material (silicon). Silicon results in inefficiency. In order to pull out an electron, it is vital for a photon to have energy greater than or equal to band gap energy. But in case of silicon, the photon has no sufficient energy to match the ideal case. In this case, the photon simply passes through device.

Manufacturing unit

Silicon is available in the industrial market. Impurities can be removed by using silicon dioxide so that the grade of silicon is upgraded. Heat the substances till it reaches the melting point. Seed crystal is formed and appears to be in the form of rod like structure with a radius of 600nm then slicing wafer is formed.

Cell fabrication: The sheet consists of 5 coatings. Aluminium foil is placed at the bottom followed by a layer of molybdenum. The top most layer is made up of P/N junction diode, semiconducting ink, and zinc oxide electrode layer.

Ultimately, place a solar cell attached with EVA between a double layered aluminium or glass. Module encapsulation procedure is done.

Functioning of a Nano Solar Cells

  • Light travels to the center of semiconducting ink sector, which separates electrons.
  • Molybdenum simultaneously plays role of electrode and as the end circuit.
  • Conduction of electrons through top layer is executed by P/N junction.
  • Operation of top layer is to conduct electrons and function as initial point of circuit.


According to a recent survey, nano solar panel consumed $0.42/watt to produce electricity which is approximately 7.1 times cheaper than a normal convectional solar panel (i.e $3/watt) and 3 times more affordable than coal (i.e $1/watt) . Highly adaptable and durable compared to modern solar panels.


Even though it is quite inexpensive in comparison with convectional solar panels these nano solar cells require silver metal for joining the panels and we all aware of the fact that silver is a rare, expensive and element with low resistance.

Nature’s Point Of View.

The whole and sole of application of nanotechnology in solar cells is to renew the current scenario and restore environment. The basic idea of introducing solar panels is to utilize renewable source of energy as an alternative to nonrenewable fuel source.Taking into account of an article published by BBC weather report, it is estimated that outdoor air pollution kills around 4.2 million people worldwide each year and the situation is quite worsened with the origin of COVID-19. scientists claim that vehicles are acting as viral transmitters.Application of nano solar panels in vehicles play a vital role in eliminating air pollution by enhancing the functioning of normal solar cell by 13%. Black metals with a nano structured surface reduces the reflecting probability and allows them to assimilate more wavelengths of light.

Visionary Thought.

Solar energy source plays a key factor in agricultural production and processing. The important solar technologies are :

  • Solar thermal electricity
  • Solar heating and
  • Solar cooling

In simple terms, India is an agricultural country. 72.38% of the country’s population bank on agriculture. Nano solar technology can be simultaneously applied in agriculture along with industrial sector.Due to low efficiency of manual labour, the productive rate of crops is reducing day-by-day and the cost of agricultural products is exponential increasing causing difficulty for a working class. Solar energy can reduce heating bills and electricity usage. Solar energy helps to remote light, water pumps and in using fertilizers. With the application of nano tech these solar appliances can be transformed to an upgraded version by enhancement.

We all are aware of the fact that solar technology have mastery over solar irrigation. If we are able to operate nano tech in solar sector we will be able to reduce the cost of electricity wasted in water pumping. We just need to construct a semi closed building where it is possible to trap sunlight so that the nano tech based solar panels can properly guide the sunlight to convert into electricity. Alternatively, the trapped light can be utilized to warm homes and livestock.

Updated: Feb 26, 2024
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Significance of Nanotechnology in Solar Cells. (2024, Feb 26). Retrieved from

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