LED / Lighting

Luminescent ‘LED-Type’ Design Breaks Efficiency Record

April 23rd, 2012

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Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have successfully designed a more efficient solar cell that is capable both of emitting light and absorbing it.

The development came after researchers examined the reasoning behind why such a large gap existed between the theoretical limit to the amount of electrical energy that can be harvested by a solar cell and the actual limit researchers had been able to achieve to date.

A Bay area-based company, co-founded by Eli Yablonovitch, principal researcher and professor at UC Berkeley, developed a solar cell made of gallium arsenide (GaAs) that increased energy-harvesting efficiency from 26 percent to 28.3 percent by allowing photons to escape more easily than in traditional solar cells.

“What we demonstrated is that the better a solar cell is at emitting photons, the higher its voltage and the greater the efficiency it can produce,” Yablonovitch said.

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Image: CLEO