How to Make Your Own Thin Film Solar Cells

What You'll Need
Wood strips (thin)
Copper sheeting
Copper wire
Clear Perspex/Plexiglas/acrylic sheeting
Duct tape
Tin snips or metal guillotine
Electric ring hob

Making your own thin film solar cells is fun and uncomplicated. Plus, you can get a good understanding to grasp with the remarkable photoelectric effect.

Step 1 – Prepare the Materials

You need to cut a square piece of copper sheeting, so it is approximately 6-8 inches square in dimension.  It is easier to make using a metal guillotine. But, if you have not obtained access to this kind of tools, tin snips can work just fine. Then, take an emery cloth piece, and carefully sand down the cut of copper along both sides to eliminate the top coating of oxidized copper.

Step 2 – Heat the Copper Sheet

Now, you need to heat up treat the copper to develop an oxide layer on top.  Though, it sounds counter-intuitive that you have just eradicated the whole oxide and now you need to place oxide back on. However, the outer oxide layer you apply will be the “film of cuprous oxide.”

Next, you can use an electric hob to perform the heating. If you have some metal tongs and “heat proof gloves,” this can be the time to find them in order to grip the metal while it’s hot. You have to turn the burner in its highest setting, along with the copper sheet just placed on its top. Examine carefully the changes to the sheet of copper, they are very fascinating. As you continue to heat the copper sheet, it takes on an exquisite vivid patina of diverse colors.

Step 3 – Cool Down

Observe a black brittle oxide form the copper plates’ top. Leave first the plate to cool gradually, the brittle layer should turn into fairly fragile and divide effortlessly from the primary copper. Once you have permitted the plate to cool systematically, provide the plate a solid bang edge-on to a firm surface. A few of the oxide can pop off. Massage the oxide smoothly using your fingers beneath a tap then you can find the majority of the black-colored coating of oxide succeeds effortlessly. If some bits are immovable, do not scour them under any conditions, as you do not like to harm the delicate surface.

Below this black coating of oxide, you can find an additional layer of reddish-orange rust shade. This is the coating which is “photosensitive” that will make your thin-film solar cell perform rightly.

Step 4 – Make the Thin Film Solar Cells

Now, you need to join the remaining space with the electrode plate. The duct tape creates a pleasant easy job. You also need to get the copper plate then stick the duct tape in its side, along the sticky surface of the tape fronting in similar direction as the coating of the red copper oxide. Join together the front module and the plate to make your solar cell. Now, get some salt water then fill the empty space between the copper plate and the Perspex front portion.  Close the whole module using duct tape to avoid leakage. Lastly, attach your module to a “multimeter,” locate a brilliant light source, and then discover several electrical properties of your own thin film solar cell.