Researchers from the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering have made a series of breakthroughs that could further revolutionise solar technology, making it more efficient and accessible.
While previously much of the research in the area had been focused on improving the body of solar cells, the team have been investigating the cell's skin layer, which is used to conduct electricity and protect the solar cell - and is 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Lead researcher Dr Hieu Nguyen worked with PhD candidate Thien Truong, and the team found that when hydrogen atoms are injected into a solar cell's skin, rather than the cell body, the performance of the entire structure is boosted significantly.
"Hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table but extremely powerful for healing 'wounds' in semiconductor materials," Dr Nguyen said.
The research was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP).
The research papers have been published in the journals ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces and ACS Applied Energy Materials.
Read the full story on the ANU Website.