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Fool's Gold, the new Solar Cell Material?
Doug Keszler, SNNI researcher and CSMC Director and colleagues discovered a promising alternative to thin film materials for potential solar cells, by examining the properties of "Fool's Gold", (iron pyrite). They found that iron pyrite is an excellent absorber of solar energy and can be made into extremely thin layers. Unfortunately, the substantial heat required to create solar cells causes the pyrite to decompose.
So the researchers tried an inverse design approach. "We identified the failure mechanism of pyrite, formulated a few design rules that preserved the favorable aspects of pyrite, and identified iron silicon sulfide and iron germanium sulfide as new absorber candidates," said Douglas Keszler. The results were published in Advanced Energy Materials.
Read more in the Press Release published in Photonics