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Solar Cells Technology from Materion Microelectronics and Services

Solar cells are solid state devices that convert the power of sun light into electrical power. These solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells or modules. [Photo = light, voltaic = electricity]. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of various thin film materials with different electronic properties, similar to semiconductor materials. PV or Solar cells are similar to transistors, LED’s and other electronic devices. 

  • Materion Microelectronics & Services products used - SFG™, EVAPro™
  • Base metals - Al, Cu, Zn, Ag, Cr, Te, Ni, Ta, Nb, Mo, In. 
  • Metal alloys - In/Sn 10%, Zn/Al 2%, Mo/Re 5%, Al/Si 5%, Cu/Ga 20%, Ni/V 7% 
  • Compounds - CdS, CdTe, ITO, ZnO, ZnO/Al(2)O(3) 2%, Zn(2)SnO(4)

What are Solar Cells?

Solar cells or (PV cells) are structured to have at least one electric field within the device. This provides an existing Voltage. When light strikes a solar cell, a certain percentage of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. Thus the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. This provides the device with an electric current. The product of these two properties is how a PV or solar cell generates power. 

[Power = Current * Voltage]. This power is harnessed in two ways: one would be to immediately power whatever device the solar cell is connected to (see figure 1 below). The other is to store the energy generated in some type of battery for future use. 

Schematic Diagram