I would like to make my own solar cell.

From a quick search on YouTube, these two videos are apparently always the #1 result for "solar cell diy" keyword or similar:

  1. Video 1
  2. Video 2

The creator demonstrates by using a silicon solvent paste. Due to my limited knowledge in EE I'm not sure if it really works.

If it does, I was wondering if I could replace the silicon paste with something more solid like an industry-standard monocrystalline wafer.

enter image description here

Despite its millions of views, I couldn't find any helpful advice in the comment section, either.

enter image description here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So, first how do you propose to test what you make? What equipment do you have? \$\endgroup\$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SolarMike Please see my answer. Anything to add or any comment on my claims? \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 11:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Using commercial photovoltaic wafers will work (not surprisingly) but your question seems to have changed from how do I MAKE an actual PV cell to how do I use a commercial one. It would be useful if you could make the current actual question clear. Maybe a comment here and then when it is clear, edit the question accordingly. || Predoped wafers have "all the work done for you" and you "just" need to cut and add contacts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 23:35

1 Answer 1



Both these videos are fraudulent.
I don't know why he would do that (except maybe the income from 6.5 million views total).


Exactly how he obtains the voltages shown I do not know, but I could definitely fake a demonstration identical to what he shows here and achieve whatever voltages I wished.

Why fraud?

In both cases he has constructed a single "cell". The interdigitated conductors are connected in one of two groups.
The voltages shown appear to be generated by a single "cell".

He 'demonstrates' generating voltages of over 4V from a single cell. A silicon celltypically produces about 0.5 - 0.6V at 100,000 lux (full sunlight). If a cell that produced such high voltages from an immensely simple, low temperature 'cook' materials existed it would be widely used in a vast range of micropower devices. It doesn't.

His construction method is electrically symmetrical. There is no reason for one or other terminal to be positive or negative - even if the materials and methods used were capable of producing the voltage shown (which they are not).

His construction does not produce a 'doped' junction of P and N compounds. The role of a PN junction (which we have not got) in the PV process is outlined here Wikipedia: Theory of solar cells

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your input, sorry for delayed response, been away for work. However while the method SHOWN in youtube video might not working, it will still DOES by sandwich-ing solar silicon wafer between conductive metal contact, right? Without the need of any adhesive (pressure from glass layer should be sufficient). Since to my knowledge its exactly how commercial solar panel structured i.imgur.com/X8XJwaY.png (just attached this image too in original post) \$\endgroup\$
    – gardin
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 1:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to point out (since edit period already expired), when i say adhesive, it refers to silver paste. I am thinking to use conductive wire instead on top of cell surface \$\endgroup\$
    – gardin
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gardin Your understanding of the manufacturing process is incorrect. However, on lookingh for a few good links fopr you I find that many are cross coped and many have pieces left out!. THIS appears to be one of the better summaries. Note that the finished wafer is NOT held together by mechanical force - the P+ ~P ~N- wafer ends up as a single unit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Useful but light on manufacturing detail wiki2.org/en/Solar_cell#Manufacture \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ One example of a copied page with material missong. Step 4 in manufacturing misses the most important part renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/solar-panels/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 13:23

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