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Photovoltaic Cell

Crystalline Silicon

Cells made of single-crystal silicon, the same material used for microelectronics chips, supply more current than the other types of silicon. Unlike amorphous silicon, the voltage stays fairly constant when different loads are applied. Single-crystal silicon photovoltaic cells that are protected from oxidizing last about 20 years.

Polycrystalline silicon is not uniform enough to make electronic chips, but works well for photovoltaic cells. It can be grown with less stringent control than single-crystal silicon but works nearly as efficiently.

Resources

Books

Catalano, A., and J. Kanicki, eds. Amorphous & Microcrystalline semiconductor Devices: Optoelectronic Devices. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 1991.

Lasnier, F., and T. Gan Ang. Photovoltaic Engineering Handbook. Bristol, England: IOP Publishing, 1990.

Markvart, T., ed. Solar Electricity. Chichester, UK: John Wiley, 1994.

Partain, L.D., ed. Solar Cells and Their Applications. Wiley Series in Microwave and Optical Engineering. New York: Wiley Interscience, 1995.

Roberts, S. Solar Electricity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Treble, F.C., ed. Generating Electricity from the Sun. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, 1994.


Periodicals

Demmig-Adams, B., and W.W. Adams III. "Photosynthesis: Harvesting Sunlight Safely." Nature 403 ; (January 2000): 371-374.


Yvonne Carts-Powell

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind - Early Ideas to Planck lengthPhotovoltaic Cell - How They Work, Applications, Solar-electric Homes, Materials, Amorphous Silicon, Crystalline Silicon