November 26th, 2014 - Talk about your upcycling, a research team from Northwestern University has figured out how you can boost your solar cell efficiency and get rid of your old Blu-ray discs all at the same time. We’re not about to repurpose Blade Runner because we still luvs it, but not to worry — apparently you can get the same results with just about anything on Blu-ray.
More And Better Solar Cell Efficiency
So, what’s the secret sauce? The team was inspired to tinker around with Blu-ray discs because of their superior data storage capability compared to DVDs or CDs.
The idea sounds simple enough: transfer the data storage pattern of nanoscale “islands” and “pits” from the disc to the surface of a solar cell, and you get a nano-textured surface that enhances the ability of the cell to absorb light.
The reason why that sounds simple is that texturizing is a known thing for solar cell efficiency. You can check out our friends over at Natcore for an example of “black silicon” solar cells with improved efficiency from a textured surface. read more>>>