Solar Cells: In Research and Applications—A Review


The light from the Sun is a non-vanishing renewable source of energy which is free from environmental pollution and noise. It can easily compensate the energy drawn from the non-renewable sources of energy such as fossil fuels and petroleum deposits inside the earth. The fabrication of solar cells has passed through a large number of improvement steps from one generation to another. Silicon based solar cells were the first generation solar cells grown on Si wafers, mainly single crystals. Further development to thin films, dye sensitized solar cells and organic solar cells enhanced the cell efficiency. The development is basically hindered by the cost and efficiency. In order to choose the right solar cell for a specific geographic location, we are required to understand fundamental mechanisms and functions of several solar technologies that are widely studied. In this article, we have reviewed a progressive development in the solar cell research from one generation to other, and discussed about their future trends and aspects. The article also tries to emphasize the various practices and methods to promote the benefits of solar energy.

Share and Cite:

Sharma, S. , Jain, K. and Sharma, A. (2015) Solar Cells: In Research and Applications—A Review. Materials Sciences and Applications, 6, 1145-1155. doi: 10.4236/msa.2015.612113.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chu, Y. and Meisen, P. (2011) Review and Comparison of Different Solar Energy Technologies. Report of Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), Diego.
[2] Choubey, P.C., Oudhia, A. and Dewangan, R. (2012) A Review: Solar Cell Current Scenario and Future Trends. Recent Research in Science and Technology, 4, 99-101.
[3] McEvoy, A., Castaner, L. and Markvart, T. (2012) Solar Cells: Materials, Manufacture and Operation. 2nd Edition, Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, 3-25.
[4] Fahrenbruch, A.L. and Bube, R.H. (1983) Fundamentals of Solar Cells. Academic Press Inc., New York.
[5] (2015-2016) Energy from the Sun, Student Guide. National Energy Education Development Project (NEED).
[6] Grisham, L.R. (2008) Nuclear Fusion in: Future Energy, Improved, Sustainable and Clean Options for our Planet, Edited by Trevor M. Letcher, 2nd Edition, Elsevier Ltd., Amsterdam, 291-301.
[7] Rana, S. (2013) A Study on Automatic Dual Axis Solar Tracker System using 555 Timer. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 1, 77-85.
[8] Bertolli, M. (2008) Solar Cell Materials. Course: Solid State II. Department of Physics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
[9] Wall, A. (2014) Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy. Process Industry Forum, 7 August 2013. Web. 2 February 2014.
[10] Bagher, A.M., Vahid, M.M.A. and Mohsen, M. (2015) Types of Solar Cells and Application. American Journal of Optics and Photonics, 3, 94-113.
[11] Whitburn, G. (2012) Exploring Green Technology, Fundamental Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy.
[12] Peplow, M. (2014) Organic Synthesis: The Robo-Chemist. Nature, 512, 20-22.
[13] Tsoutsos, T., Frantzeskaki, N. and Gekas, V. (2005) Environmental Impacts from the Solar Energy Technologies. Energy Policy, 33, 289-296.
[14] Yadav, A. and Kumar, P. (2015) Enhancement in Efficiency of PV Cell through P&O Algorithm. International Journal for Technological Research in Engineering, 2, 2642-2644.
[15] Castellano, R. (2010) Solar Panel Processing. Old City Publishing Inc., Philadelphia.
[16] Srinivas, B., Balaji, S., Nagendra Babu, M. and Reddy, Y.S. (2015) Review on Present and Advance Materials for Solar Cells. International Journal of Engineering Research-Online, 3, 178-182.
[17] Wurfel, P. and Wurfel, U. (2009) Physics of Solar Cells: From Basic Principles to Advanced Concepts. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.
[18] Dmitrijev, S. (2006) Principles of Semiconductor Devices. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[19] Saga, T. (2010) Advances in Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Technology for Industrial Mass Production. NPG Asia Materials, 2, 96-102.
[20] Jayakumar, P. (2009) Solar Energy Resource Assessment Handbook. Renewable Energy Corporation Network for the Asia Pacific.
[21] Chopra, K.L., Paulson, P.D. and Dutt, V. (2004) Thin-Film Solar Cells: An Overview. Progress in Photovoltaics, 12, 69-92.
[22] Imamzai, M., Aghaei, M., Hanum Md Thayoob, Y. and Forouzanfar, M. (2012) A Review on Comparison between Traditional Silicon Solar Cells and Thin-Film CdTe Solar Cells. Proceedings of National Graduate Conference (NatGrad 2012), Tenaga Nasional Universiti, Putrajaya Campus, 8-10 November 2012, 1-5.
[23] Types of Solar Panels, Grein Energy. Published 22 April 2015.
[24] Maehlum, M.A. (2015) Energy Informative The Homeowner’s Guide To Solar Panels, Best Thin Film Solar Panels— Amorphous, Cadmium Telluride or CIGS? Last updated 6 April 2015.
[25] Yogi Goswami, D. and Kreith, F. (2007) Handbook of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
[26] Luque, A. and Hegedus, S. (2003) Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Hoboken.
[27] Elsabawy, K.M., El-Hawary, W.F. and Refat, M.S. (2012) Advanced Synthesis of Titanium-Doped-Tellerium-Camium Mixtures for High Performance Solar Cell Applications as One of Renewable Source of Energy. International Journal of Chemical Sciences, 10, 1869-1879.
[28] Badawy, W.A. (2015) A Review on Solar Cells from Si-Single Crystals to Porous Materials and Quantum Dots. Journal of Advanced Research, 6, 123-132.
[29] Sethi, V.K., Pandey, M. and Shukla, P. (2011) Use of Nanotechnology in Solar PV Cell. International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications, 2, 77-80.
[30] Andorka, F. (2014) CIGS Solar Cells Simplified. Solar Power World.
[31] Razykov, T.M., Ferekides, C.S., Morel, D., Stefanakos, E., Ullal, H.S. and Upadhyaya, H.M. (2011) Solar Photovoltaic Electricity: Current Status and Future Prospects. Solar Energy, 85, 1580-1608.
[32] Hoppe, H. and Sariciftci, N.S. (2008) Polymer Solar Cells. Advances in Polymer Science, 214, 1.
[33] Dubey, S., Sarvaiya, J.N. and Seshadri, B. (2013) Temperature Dependent Photovoltaic (PV) Efficiency and Its Effect on PV Production in the World: A Review. Energy Procedia, 33, 311-321.
[34] Ganesh, B.N.V.S. and Supriya, Y.V. (2013) Recent Advancements and Techniques in Manufacture of Solar Cells: Organic Solar Cells. International Journal of Electronics and Computer Science Engineering, 2, 565-573.
[35] Jassen, R. Introduction to Polymer Solar Cells.
[36] Leroy, F. (2003) A Century of Nobel Prize Recipients: Chemistry, Physics, and Medicine. CRC Press, Hoboken.
[37] Alex, C., Mayer, Shawn, R., Scully, Brian, E., Hardin, Michael, W., Rowell and Michael, D. McGehee (2007) Polymer-Based Solar Cells: A Review. Materials Today, 10, 28-33.
[38] Wudl, F. and Srdanov, G. (1993) Conducting Polymer Formed of Poly (2-Methoxy-5-(2’-Ethylhexyloxy)-P-Phenylene Vinylene). US Patent 5,189,136.
[39] Li, G., Zhu, R. and Yang, Y. (2012) Polymer Solar Cells. Nature Photonics, 6, 153-161.
[40] Brabec, C.J., Shaheen, S.E., Winder, C. and Sariciftci, N.S. (2002) Effect of LiF/Metal Electrodes on the Performance of Plastic Solar Cells. Applied Physics Letters, 80, 1288.
[41] Zhu, R., Kumar, A. and Yang, Y. (2011) Polarizing Organic Photovoltaics. Advanced Materials, 23, 4193-4198.
[42] Li, B., Wang, L., Kang, B., Wang, P. and Qiu, Y. (2006) Review of Recent Progress in Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 90, 549-573.
[43] Zhan, J., Sun, P., Jiang, S., Sun, X. and Lund, T. (2006) An Investigation of the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Nanocrytsalline Solar Cell with Anthocyanin Dye and Ruthenium Dye as the Sensitizers. Roskilde University, Roskilde.
[44] Graetzel, M., Janssen, R.A.J., Mitzi, D.B. and Sargent, E.H. (2012) Materials Interface Engineering for Solution-Processed Photovoltaics. Nature, 488, 304-312.
[45] Nozik, A.J. (2010) Nanoscience and Nanostructures for Photovoltaics and Solar Fuels. NANO Letters, 10, 2735-2741.
[46] Suhaimi, S., Shahimin, M.M., Alahmed, Z.A., Chysky, J. and Reshak, A.H. (2015) Materials for Enhanced Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Performance: Electrochemical Application. International Journal of Electrochemical Science, 10, 28-59.
[47] Liang, M., Xu, W., Cai, F.S., Chen, P.Q., Peng, B., Chen, J. and Li, Z.M. (2007) New Triphenylamine-Based Organic Dyes for Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 111, 4465-4472.
[48] Barnes, P.R.F., Anderson, A.Y., Koops, S.E., Durrant, J.R. and O’Regan, B.C. (2009) Electron Injection Efficiency and Diffusion Length in Dyesensitized Solar Cells Derived from Incident Photon Conversion Efficiency Measurements. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 113, 1126-1136.
[49] Philipps, S.P., Bett, A.W., Horowitz, K. and Kurtz, S. (2015) Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) Technology. Report Version 1.2, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (NREL), September 2015.
[50] Mohanta, P. R., Patel, J., Bhuva, J. and Gandhi, M. (2015) A Review on Solar Photovoltaics and Roof Top Application of It. International Journal of Advanced Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, 2, 2394-2444.
[51] Ahn, N., Son, D.-Y., Jang, I.-H., Kang, S.M., Choi, M. and Park, N.-G. (2015) Highly Reproducible Perovskite Solar Cells with Average Efficiency of 18.3% and Best Efficiency of 19.7% Fabricated via Lewis Base Adduct of Lead(II) Iodide. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137, 8696-8699.
[52] Tina Casey (2015) An Article on Perovskites Will Power New Low-Cost & Highly Efficient Solar Cells. Clean Technical, 3 July 2015.
[53] Shi, D., Zeng, Y. and Shen, W. (2015) Pervoskite/c-Si Tandem Solar Cell with Inverted Nanopyramids: Realizing High Efficiency by Controllable Light Trapping. Scientific Reports, 5, Article No. 16504.
[55] Wu, Y. and Gorder, P.F. (2014) Nature Communications. Published on 3 October 2014.
[56] Nabhani, N. and Emami, M. (2013) Nanotechnologies and Its Applications in Solar Cells. International Conference on Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (ICMIE’2013), Penang, 28-29 August 2013, 88-91.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.