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Light micrograph (LM) of silicon solar cell. Close-up of the surface of solar (photovoltaic) cells, which convert light into electrical energy. Cells are made from a semi-conductor such as silicon (as here). When light hits it it releases electrons, which are converted into an electrical current. A grid of thin wires collects the electrons. These are polycrystalline (amorphous) cells, made from numerous small silicon crystals. This type of cell is less efficient than a single-crystal cell, but is far cheaper to manufacture. Solar power is an environmentally-friendly energy source. It does not use up limited resources and does not release toxic waste products. Magnification: 12x @ 35 mm.
June 26th, 2012
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