Now Playing: How to make solar cells (DIY/homemade solar cell)
  • Description:  Cuprous oxide is a semiconductor, just like doped silicon, and was one of the first materials experimented with as a solar cell. But its efficiency was found to be so low that people stopped trying, though the occasional set of experiments are still done in research labs and papers published. It was also used to make commercially sold diodes and may still be, since thats what a solar cell is - a photosensitive diode. And before you comment that its a battery... At 230 the cell is getting full sunlight and it is around 10 microamps. At 235 I block the sun and it is around 0 microamps. Then at 241 I unblock the sun so the cell is getting full sunlight again and it is around 10 microamps again. If it was a battery then the current wouldnt be going back and forth when I block and unblock the sun. So its solar. This shows how to make and test a solar cell using a sheet of copper. These solar cells are basically sheets of copper with a layer of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) on them. The cuprous oxide is a semiconductor. You wont get much electricity from it but its fun to make!