ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polycrystalline silicon solar cell, light micrograph. This photovoltaic cell converts light into electrical energy. This is a clean and renewable source of energy. The cell is made from a polycrystalline silicon nitride wafer (blue), a semiconductor material, covered by a grid of electrodes. The vertical line, known as a finger, is made of silver nanoparticles. Grids of fingers collect the current and deliver it to busbars, which direct it out of the cell. Polycrystalline cells are less efficient than monocrystalline cells, but are far cheaper to manufacture. Magnification: x90 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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