Photovoltaic effect

photovoltaicBecquerel effect
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage and electric current in a material upon exposure to light.wikipedia
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Photoelectric effect

photoelectricphotoelectronphotoemission
The photovoltaic effect is closely related to the photoelectric effect.
Other phenomena where light affects the movement of electric charges include the photoconductive effect (also known as photoconductivity or photoresistivity), the photovoltaic effect, and the photoelectrochemical effect.

Photodiode

phototransistorphotodiodespinned photodiode
However, the most familiar form of the photovoltaic effect uses solid-state devices, mainly in photodiodes.
This mode exploits the photovoltaic effect, which is the basis for solar cells – a traditional solar cell is just a large area photodiode.

Edmond Becquerel

Alexandre Edmond BecquerelAlexandre-Edmond BecquerelA. E. Becquerel
The first demonstration of the photovoltaic effect, by Edmond Becquerel in 1839, used an electrochemical cell.
He is credited with the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, the operating principle of the solar cell, in 1839.

Solar cell

solar cellsphotovoltaic cellphotovoltaic cells
In most photovoltaic applications the radiation is sunlight, and the devices are called solar cells.
A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon.

Two-photon photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect can also occur when two photons are absorbed simultaneously in a process called two-photon photovoltaic effect.
The two-photon photovoltaic effect can be considered as the nonlinear equivalent of the conventional photovoltaic effect commonly used in p-n junction solar cells.

Voltage

potential differenceVvoltages
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage and electric current in a material upon exposure to light.

Electric current

currentelectrical currentcurrents
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage and electric current in a material upon exposure to light.

Light

visible lightvisiblelight source
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage and electric current in a material upon exposure to light.

Physical property

physical propertiesphysicalproperty
It is a physical and chemical phenomenon.

Chemical substance

chemicalchemicalssubstance
It is a physical and chemical phenomenon.

Electron

electronse − electron mass
In either case, light is absorbed, causing excitation of an electron or other charge carrier to a higher-energy state.

Charge carrier

charge carrierscarriersminority carrier
In either case, light is absorbed, causing excitation of an electron or other charge carrier to a higher-energy state.

Electric potential

electrical potentialelectrostatic potentialCoulomb potential
In either case, an electric potential (or voltage) is produced by the separation of charges, and the light has to have a sufficient energy to overcome the potential barrier for excitation.

Ballistic conduction

ballistic transportballisticBallistic conductivity
The physical essence of the difference is usually that photoelectric emission separates the charges by ballistic conduction and photovoltaic emission separates them by diffusion, but some "hot carrier" photovoltaic device concepts blur this distinction.

Selenium

SeSe 3 selenium poisoning
The first solar cell, consisting of a layer of selenium covered with a thin film of gold, was experimented by Charles Fritts in 1884, but it had a very poor efficiency.

Charles Fritts

The first solar cell, consisting of a layer of selenium covered with a thin film of gold, was experimented by Charles Fritts in 1884, but it had a very poor efficiency.

Valence and conduction bands

conduction bandvalence bandconduction electron
When sunlight or other sufficiently energetic light is incident upon the photodiode, the electrons present in the valence band absorb energy and, being excited, jump to the conduction band and become free.

P–n junction

p-n junctionreverse biasjunction
These excited electrons diffuse, and some reach the rectifying junction (usually a diode p-n junction) where they are accelerated into the p-type semiconductor material by the built-in potential (Galvani potential).

Galvani potential

These excited electrons diffuse, and some reach the rectifying junction (usually a diode p-n junction) where they are accelerated into the p-type semiconductor material by the built-in potential (Galvani potential).

Electromotive force

EMFelectromotive force (EMF)
This generates an electromotive force and an electrical current, and thus some of the light energy is converted into electric energy.

Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences

Comptes RendusC. R. PalevolC. R. Acad. Sci. Paris
He explained his discovery in Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences, "the production of an electric current when two plates of platinum or gold immersed in an acid, neutral, or alkaline solution are exposed in an uneven way to solar radiation."

Thermoelectric effect

thermoelectricPeltier effectSeebeck effect
These thermal gradients in turn may generate a voltage through the Seebeck effect.

Radiation

radiologicalradioactiveradiative
In most photovoltaic applications the radiation is sunlight, and the devices are called solar cells.

Theory of solar cells

Theory of solar cellcharge carrier separationphotogenerated

Photovoltaics

photovoltaicsolar panelsolar panels
Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.