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Thread: Is it possible to use aluminum instead of copper for solar cell?

  1. #1 Is it possible to use aluminum instead of copper for solar cell? 
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    Okay so i have been looking on the internet(just a note this is not my field of study so i am new to this) and i found a lot of people making their own solar cells and well i personally think most of them are fake so i checked some forms and how solar cells work and i saw they use copper why not aluminum i know it rust but if we look past the rust is there any other reason why aluminum is not used?
    and can it be used if you want to build a solar cell even with low efficiency?
    i think it is possible because both are conductors.


    also i see a lot of people talking about thermal i am talking about electrical energy


    Last edited by MrIDontKnowAnything; November 20th, 2021 at 10:25 AM.
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Aluminium doesn't rust.
    (Mainly because you don't see aluminium anywhere (what you see is aluminium oxide - which is protective - covering the aluminium).


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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIDontKnowAnything View Post
    they use copper why not aluminum i know it rust but if we look past the rust is there any other reason why aluminum is not used?
    and can it be used if you want to build a solar cell even with low efficiency?
    i think it is possible because both are conductors.
    You've jumped to the conclusion that being a conductor is the requirement for making a solar cell. That's not correct. You need a semiconductor, and not just any random one. It needs to have properties that absorb light efficiently. And there are many other requirements as well.

    Copper can be used in solar cells because it forms an oxide (cuprous oxide) that is a semiconductor with reasonable properties. Copper-based light sensors were used in early exposure meters for cameras, and a large research effort was launched in the 1970s to develop copper photovoltaics for power generation. Compared to silicon PV cells, cuprous oxide ones are inferior in most respects.

    Aluminum's oxide is transparent, which tells us that it doesn't absorb light. That would rule out its utility as a PV cell, I should think.
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    tk421!!! HUGS !
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