In the following sections we will give a brief introduction to particles and their behavior on the atomic level. These concepts will be important for understanding how the behavior of tiny particles within a material has macroscopic effects in solar cell materials. It is the movement of electrons within materials that generate electricity, and so the structure of solar cell materials is an important factor in harnessing solar energy. Details as to how the ideas of this section intersect with solar cell operation and efficiency will be explained in later sections.
Above is a section of silicon material, with the bonds between the silicon atoms shown.