The invention of the photovoltaic cell.

definition

The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage and electric current in certain materials when exposed to light. This effect makes solar panels useful.

INVENTION
  • In 1839, the French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel invented the photovoltaic cell and discovered the photovoltaic effect.
  • He first constructed an electrochemical cell with platinum electrodes. Then, he illuminated the electrodes with sunlight and ultraviolet light and discovered that current flowed through the acidic solution and a voltage was generated.
  • Here is a labelled diagram of his cell:

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The platinum electrodes were coated with silver chloride or silver bromide.

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inventor

Here is a photograph of Edmond Becquerel:

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