An heading which says “Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible”. A discovery has been made at University of Michigan, the magnetic effect which previously was ignored due to weak magnetic field can now be made strong 100 millions times. This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation.
The following are some of the excerpts.
Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the
effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. What Rand
and his colleagues found is that at the right intensity, when light is traveling
through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can
generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously
expected. Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects develop strength
equivalent to a strong electric effect.
“This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without
semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation,” Rand said.
“In solar cells, the light goes into a material, gets absorbed and creates heat.
Here, we expect to have a very low heat load. Instead of the light being
absorbed, energy is stored in the magnetic moment. Intense magnetization can be
induced by intense light and then it is ultimately capable of providing a
capacitive power source.”