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Which frequency in the visible spectrum does a photovoltaic cell convert into electricity?

plenty on info out there about how a PV cell does its job but so far i've found nothing on which light frequency is responsible for initiating the process.

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Sorry in my previously long winded explanation I forgot to give you the info in terms of frequency like you asked.

Wavelength range = 400-1200 nm
Frequency range = 7.5 x 1014 - 2.5 x 1014 Hz or 750 - 250 THz

Here's the sunlight composition diagram image I mentioned in my previous post from the wikipedia as well.
Solar_Spectrum.png

Thank you for putting this up . Great information .

Technically, sunlight by itself is composed of a range of frequencies & wavelengths spanning from ~250-2500+nm. So, if you can cover that range with highly efficient conversion (50%) and cheaply produce the materials, you will be incredibly rich and famous. However, covering that range turns out to be pretty cost ineffective. In general, highly ordered crystalline inorganic-based approaches, such as the iconic Silicon-based type you see in mainstream media currently hold the highest conversion efficiencies. Most researchers and engineers working on photovoltaic devices are trying to cover the range of 400-1200 nm in the electromagnetic spectrum using a variety of material approaches (i.e. inorganic crystalline systems, organic polymers, etc.) Pretty sweet stuff. This region encompasses the most energetically-dense portion of the sunlight or in more scientific terms, the highest spectral irradiance portion of sunlight. Wikipedia has posted a nicely illustrated graph of what was previously described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight under the Composition section.
If anyone's interested in learning more about the science and chemistry involved, feel free to drop me a message, I'd be glad to hook you up with some sweet resources, links, and people you can talk to.
Yeah, I'd be very interested in the resources. Please reply.
VIRON7 years ago
Silicon is very sensitive to infrared and not very sensitive to blue. Old Selenium cells were more consistently sensitive to visible light I think. Selenium might still be used as a standard for photography light meters. Today there are so many different kinds.
I have heard that it's the red light that gets used in silicon solar cells. They are working on cells that use a wider band of frequencies but so far they are very expensive. ~Bob~
seandogue7 years ago
Most of the solar energy that is absorbed (for conversion into electricity) in commonly encountered photovoltaic cells comes from the wavelengths in the range of about 500-700nm.

Basically, that means from blue-green to the red area of the visible spectrum.

If you'd like to read a more detailed description of the underlying physics, See: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/photovoltaics.html and choose "How PV works".
Depends on the exact cell type. Mostly the shorter wavelengths. Steve