photovoltaic cell

GC: n

CT: Sunlight consists of little particles of solar energy called photons. As a PV cell is exposed to this sunlight, many of the photons are reflected, pass right through, or absorbed by the solar cell. When enough photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the photovoltaic cell, electrons are freed from the negative semiconductor material. Due to the manufacturing process of the positive layer, these freed electrons naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential, similar to a household battery.

S: SE – (last access: 17th December).

N: 1. photovoltaic (adj.): 1923, from photo– + voltaic.
cell (n): early 12c., “small monastery, subordinate monastery” (from Medieval Latin in this sense), later “small room for a monk or a nun in a monastic establishment; a hermit’s dwelling” (c.1300), from Latin cella “small room, store room, hut,” related to Latin celare “to hide, conceal.”The Latin word represents PIE root kel- “to cover, conceal”. Electric battery sense is from 1828, based on original form.
2. A solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) cell is a decvice that converts solar energy into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.
3. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of at least 2 semi-conductor layers: one layer containing a positive charge, the other a negative charge.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 17th December 2014). 2. PHOTOVOLTAIC – (last access: 17 December 2014). 3. SE – (last access: 17th December 2014).

GV: photo-voltaic cell


SYN: solar cell


CR: electrical energy, photovoltaic effect, solar cell, volt