Award-Winning Etching Process Cuts Solar Cell Costs (Fact Sheet)

    Research output: NRELFact Sheet


    NREL scientists have invented the 'black silicon' nanocatalytic wet-chemical etch, an inexpensive, one-step process that literally turns the solar cells black, allowing them to absorb more than 98% of incident sunlight. The process costs just a few cents per watt of solar-cell power-producing capacity. Increases in manufactured cell efficiencies of up to 0.8% are possible because of the reducedreflectance of black silicon. This would reduce silicon solar module costs by $5-$10 per module.
    Original languageAmerican English
    StatePublished - 2013

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/FS-6A42-59020


    • angle of incidence
    • antireflection coatings
    • antireflective coatings
    • black silicon
    • diffuse light
    • etch
    • gold
    • nanocatalytic wet-chemical etch
    • nanoparticle
    • Natcore Technology Inc.
    • null
    • R&D 100
    • Red Bank, New Jersey
    • silver
    • solar cells


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