A solar cell is also known as photovoltaic cell. The Solar cell is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. It is a form of photoelectric cell, defined as a device whose electrical characteristics, such as current, voltage, or resistance, vary when exposed to light. The solar cells are the building blocks of photovoltaic modules otherwise it is known as solar panels.
A solar cell is a sandwich of two different layers of silicon that have been specially treated or doped so they will let electricity flow through them in a particular way. The lower layer is doped so it has slightly too few electrons. It is called as p-type or positive-type silicon. The upper layer is doped the opposite way to give it slightly too many electrons. It is called as n-type or negative-type silicon.
Solar cells are described as being photovoltaic, irrespective of whether the source is sunlight or an artificial light. They are used as a photo detector, detecting light or other electromagnetic radiation near the visible range, or measuring light intensity.