Today we can more and more often hear talks about swift exhaustion of hydrocarbon fuel and a neces-sity of mastering alternative energy sources, e.g. solar batteries. Unfortunately, they did not receive wide recognition in the world, including Russia. According to Oleg Pchelyakov, Dr. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), Head of the Department of Semiconductor Materials Growth and Structure, Rzhanov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, vacuum space laboratories shall mend the current situation. He told about this promising project to the RF Science and Technology magazine. Siberian re-searchers together with members of the University of Houston (USA) have been working at this project already for several years.
National specialists as early as at the beginning of the 1970s developed photodetector arrays of infrared band, electron-optical transformers, microwave transistors, and quantum interferometers*. As regards crystal grow-ing for solar batteries, scientists in Novosibirsk gradual-
* See: A. Skrinsky, "Cognition of Matter", Science in Russia, No. 6, 2007.-Ed
ly came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper tech-nically and economically to solve this problem outside our atmosphere as the efficiency of such work on the Earth would not exceed 15-16 percent. Such severe restrictions on the level of solar battery efficiency are conditioned not only by thickness of a semiconductor layer but also by a film composition and quality of grown crystals of silicon. These characteristics can be improved only by obtaining required material in a very clean con-ditions maximally approximate to ideal vacuum. It will allow to bring efficiency of light conversion into elec-tricity to 30 percent and consequently to twice decrease the surface of batteries given the same capacity.
It is very expensive and ineffective to construct vacu-um chambers on the Ea ... Read more