Solar Cell

The Philology of an invention

By Lan Tian


Lan Tian is a PhD Candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Physics Engineering

Lan Tian is a PhD Candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in Physics Engineering

In 1839, Photovoltaic effect was discovered by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, who studied the solar spectrum, magnetism, electricity and optics, a French Physicist.  The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage or electric current in a material upon exposure to light and is a physical and chemical phenomenon.

In 1883, the first solid photovoltaic cell was created by Charles Fritts who was an American inventor. The efficiency of Selenium Cell is around 1%.

In 1946, Russell Shoemaker Ohl, patented the modern solar cell, who was an engineer and a notable semiconductor researcher.

In 50s, properties of the semiconductor were understood more and more, plus big progresses were made in the processing technology. In 1954, the first solar cell was publicly demonstrated in this world at Bell Laboratories.  

In 1973, the first oil crisis started, meanwhile, many countries begun to transfer the attention from oil to the application of solar cells.

Lots of solar cells equipments have been taken use in USA, Japan etc., it makes solar cells get closer to the goal of commercial applications.

Among the countries which already took a lot use of solar cells, the USA built the biggest solar cell factory in 1983. Till now, there are many kinds of solar cells being researched.

In the future, solar cells will be easily manufactured in mass production with many characteristics like printable, flexible, plastic, transparent. In the future, solar cells will make great contribution to our world without consuming non-renewable resources.

Sources: WikIpedia