Volume 92 Issue 26 | p. 5 | News of The Week
Issue Date: June 30, 2014 | Web Date: June 27, 2014

Safer Salts For Solar-Cell Production

Solar Energy: A magnesium salt may reduce the hazards and costs of making thin-film photovoltaic devices
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Sustainability
News Channels: Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: solar cells, cadmium telluride, CdTe, thin-film photovoltaics

Substituting magnesium chloride for toxic cadmium chloride could free cadmium-telluride solar-cell manufacturers from a costly and hazardous process without sacrificing efficiency, according to a new study.

At the heart of a standard CdTe solar cell is a photovoltaic junction formed by the interface between neighboring thin layers of CdS and CdTe. Without processing the layers after deposition, a cell converts incident solar power into electric power with less than 5% efficiency. Manufacturers bump this up . . .

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