Caution with claiming novelty

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Caution with claiming novelty. This remark refers to the conference paper: P. P. Altermatt, G. Heiser, J. Zhao, A. Wang, S. R. Wenham,. M. A. Green, “Analysis ...

Caution with claiming novelty This remark refers to the conference paper: P. P. Altermatt, G. Heiser, J. Zhao, A. Wang, S. R. Wenham, M. A. Green, “Analysis and minimisation of resistive losses in high-efficiency Si solar cells by combining measurements with numerical modeling”, Proc. 13th EC Solar Energy Conference, Nice, France, pp. 382 – 385, 1995. The claim in this conference paper, that the combination of device simulation and circuit simulation is novel, proved wrong. Later, I found out that a nearly identical approach (with one dimensional instead of two dimensional device simulations) was already published in the following two papers: C.R. Fang, J. R. Hauser, Proceedings of the 13th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Washington DC (1978), pp. 1306–1311; ibid pp. 1318–1326. Experiences like this made me very cautious when claiming novelty. I started to appreciate that there were many people before us doing science, and possibly they were thinking along the same lines as researchers do nowadays.

Pietro Altermatt