With the non-renewable sources of nature diminishing and the global warming effect increasing, Solar energy is vital in the present times considering the fact that the power demand in the world is a never ending process. And the emergence of the solar cells in the 19th century has signified the importance of solar energy today, in our lives. A solar cell is a device converting the sunlight energy directly into electricity with the use of the photovoltaic effect. The term “photovoltaic” is used since 1849, derived from Greek ‘phos’ meaning “light” and ‘voltaic’ meaning “electric” from the name of the Italian physicist Volta. These solar cells or the photovoltaic cells today are used to make solar panels, solar modules, or photovoltaic arrays.
As Oil prices going up and seems this is going to keep that way, more and more attentions is given to alternative energy sources. Probably solar energy is most attractive due to its nature. Don’t go in to discussions about what alternative energy is the best – all of them are good as long as they are effective. Researchers in University of California, San Diego have been working on “hairy” solar cells. They discovered that growing nano-wires on photocells boost solar cell efficiency. Nanowires help to conduct electrons from collections surface to electrode. “If nanowires are going to be used massively in photovoltaic devices, then the growth mechanism of nanowires on arbitrary metallic surfaces is an issue of great importance,” said Paul Yu, a professor at UC San Diego, and a member of the project team which published the nanowire research. “We contributed one approach to growing nanowires directly on metal.”