Graphene vs Photovoltaics
Graphene can fulfil multiple functions in PV devices:
1) Transparent conductor window
2) Photoactive material
3) Channel for charge transport
Silicon Solar cells
Silicon solar cells (mono- and multi-crystalline PV cells) are dominating in the current PV technology.
A potential application of a grapheme film on the sunny side of PV cells, an increase of ETA can be achieved.
Organic solar cells
One promising application is for making PV cells that are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible through the use of organic compounds instead of the currently used and expensive highly purified silicon. But one problem that has slowed the development of organic PV cells is that researchers have had a hard time coming up with appropriate materials for the electron donor and acceptor electrodes to carry the current to and from the cells. It has been a challenge to make these electrodes using materials that can match the organic PV cells’ flexibility and transparency. By applying graphene as an electrode, the ETA of corresponding organic solar cells can be boosted.
Graphene based photodectors can work over a much broader wavelength range, while it can have a faster response compared to traditional PDs.
Silicon Solar cell Organic Solar cell Photodetector