The most basic form of a solar panel comes from the second most abundant element on Earth: silicon. When silicon is exposed to light, it behaves like a semiconductor and generates an electrical current.
Large amounts of silicon are purified to about 99.999999 percent. It is then crystalized and melted down into ingots, each weighing 400 kilograms. These ingots are then sliced into wafers, which are 15 centimeters wide, 7-8 grams in mass and 180 microns thick.
The wafers are dipped into different baths to remove soar marks and defect before being treated with phosphorus in a furnace. This process is important because heating the wafers with phosphorus will increase its semi-conducting properties and increase electrical production.