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History of Solar Cell Development


It has been 175 years since 1839 when Alexandre Edmond Becquerel observed the photovoltaic (PV) effect via an electrode in a conductive solution exposed to light [1]. It is instructive to look at the history of PV cells [2] since that time because there are lessons to be learned that can provide guidance for the future development of PV cells.


  • Alexandre Edmond Becquerel
  • Photovoltaics (PV)
  • Selenium cell
  • Copper and copper oxide cell
  • Einstein’s photon theory
  • Czochralski crystal growth
  • Bell labs silicon cell
  • Telstar communication satellite
  • Arab oil embargo
  • AlGaAs/GaAs solar cell
  • InGaP/GaInAs/Ge triple junction cell
  • Amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cell
  • Public utility regulation act (PURPA)
  • National renewable energy lab (NREL)
  • InGaP/GaAs two junction cell
  • GaAs/GaSb stacked cell
  • Photovoltaic advanced space power (PASP+) flight
  • Concentrator photovoltaics (CPV)
  • GaSb infrared cells

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Correspondence to Lewis M. Fraas .

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Fraas, L.M. (2014). History of Solar Cell Development. In: Low-Cost Solar Electric Power. Springer, Cham.

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