Generally, solar cells on the market today do not produce much electricity from ultraviolet light, instead it is either filtered out or absorbed by the cell, heating the cell. That heat is wasted energy and could even lead to damage to the cell. However, researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a way to utilize that energy by placing a film of silicon nanoparticles onto the silicon solar cell. By diluting particles of silicon in alcohol, covering a solar cell with it and letting the alcohol evaporate to leave the nanoparticles of silicon on the cell, the team has increased the power output by 67% in the ultraviolet range and about 10% in the visible range. According to Munir Nayfeh, a physicist at the University of Illinois, "Our results point to a significant role for charge transport across the film and rectification at the nanoparticle interface." Nayfeh also believes that this process could be added onto the existing process of cell creation at very little cost. This could potentially be another solar breakthrough by increasing the voltage of cells which are very similar to those already being produced today.
[Source: Science Daily]