Solar Cells : What is a Solar Cell?

Also known as solar cells. A photovoltaic cell is made of thin wafers of two slightly different types of silicon. One, doped with tiny quantities of boron, is called P-type (P for positive) and contains positively charged 'holes', which are missing electrons. (Electrons are negatively charged particles that orbit the nuclei of atoms.) The other type of silicon is doped with small amounts of phosphorus and is called N-type (N for negative). It contains extra electrons. Putting these two thin P and N materials together produces a junction which, when exposed to light, will produce a movement of electrons - and that constitutes an electric current. Photovoltaic cells thus convert light energy into electrical energy.

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