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Photonics Buyers' Guide / Solar Cells and Wafers
Glossary
  • solar cell A device for converting sunlight into electrical energy, consisting of a sandwich of P-type and N-type semiconducting wafers. A photon with sufficient energy striking the cell can dislodge an electron from an atom near the interface of the two...
  • wafer A cross-sectional slice cut from an ingot of either single-crystal, fused, polycrystalline or amorphous material that has refined surfaces either lapped or polished. Wafers are used either as substrates for electronic device manufacturing or as...
  • thermoelectric solar cell A solar cell that uses a thermoelectric converter, consisting of two sheets of metal with a semiconductor sandwiched between them, to generate electricity.
  • thin-film solar cell A solar cell that is lightweight and flexible because of its construction by vacuum deposition of a semiconductor material (e.g., gallium arsenide or cadmium sulfide) onto a thin metal or plastic substrate. It is used as a power source in spacecraft...
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