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Light Propagation Made Visible in Solar Cells

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Near-field optical microscopy has provided a glimpse inside the workings of thin-films solar cells, potentially offering a route to optimizing them and other nanophotonic devices. The technique uses a glass fiber tip to measure the amount of light captured in a thin-film solar cell through quantum mechanical tunneling. A team at the Jülich Research Center applied the technique to thin-film silicon solar cells that feature periodic nanostructures designed to more efficiently absorb the IR portion of the solar spectrum. Using near-field optical microscopy, the researchers were...Read full article

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