Solar Absorption and Surface Characteristics
Date: Fall 2013
Why are solar panel cells smooth when absorption of light is better on rough dark surfaces? If dark, rough surfaces are better to capture Photons, why this is not used in a solar cell?
Thanks for the question. One of the reasons for having a rough surface is that there may be anti-reflective coatings on the solar cells. The anti-reflective coatings increase the absorption of light and these coatings need to be of precise thickness in order to be effective. Additionally, there may be manufacturing and quality assurance concerns if rough solar cells are used as compared to smooth solar cells.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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Update: November 2011