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Sample records for advanced silicon solar

  1. Advanced Silicon Solar Cell Device Physics and Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deceglie, Michael Gardner

    A fundamental challenge in the development and deployment of solar photovoltaic technology is a reduction in cost enabling direct competition with fossil-fuel-based energy sources. A key driver in this cost reduction is optimized device efficiency, because increased energy output leverages all photovoltaic system costs, from raw materials and module manufacturing to installation and maintenance. To continue progress toward higher conversion efficiencies, solar cells are being fabricated with increasingly complex designs, including engineered nanostructures, heterojunctions, and novel contacting and passivation schemes. Such advanced designs require a comprehensive and unified understanding of the optical and electrical device physics at the microscopic scale. This thesis focuses on a microscopic understanding of solar cell optoelectronic performance and its impact on cell optimization. We consider this in three solar cell platforms: thin-film crystalline silicon, amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunctions, and thin-film cells with nanophotonic light trapping. The work described in this thesis represents a powerful design paradigm, based on a detailed physical understanding of the mechanisms governing solar cell performance. Furthermore, we demonstrate the importance of understanding not just the individual mechanisms, but also their interactions. Such an approach to device optimization is critical for the efficiency and competitiveness of future generations of solar cells.

  2. Thin silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, R.B.; Bacon, C.; DiReda, V.; Ford, D.H.; Ingram, A.E.; Cotter, J.; Hughes-Lampros, T.; Rand, J.A.; Ruffins, T.R.; Barnett, A.M.

    1992-12-01

    The silicon-film design achieves high performance by using a dun silicon layer and incorporating light trapping. Optimally designed thin crystalline solar cells (<50 microns thick) have performance advantages over conventional thick devices. The high-performance silicon-film design employs a metallurgical barrier between the low-cost substrate and the thin silicon layer. Light trapping properties of silicon-film on ceramic solar cells are presented and analyzed. Recent advances in process development are described here.

  3. Development of processing procedures for advanced silicon solar cells. [antireflection coatings and short circuit currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott-Monck, J. A.; Stella, P. M.; Avery, J. E.

    1975-01-01

    Ten ohm-cm silicon solar cells, 0.2 mm thick, were produced with short circuit current efficiencies up to thirteen percent and using a combination of recent technical advances. The cells were fabricated in conventional and wraparound contact configurations. Improvement in cell collection efficiency from both the short and long wavelengths region of the solar spectrum was obtained by coupling a shallow junction and an optically transparent antireflection coating with back surface field technology. Both boron diffusion and aluminum alloying techniques were evaluated for forming back surface field cells. The latter method is less complicated and is compatible with wraparound cell processing.

  4. Development of advanced silicon solar cells for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillington, David R.

    1990-01-01

    This report describes the development of large area high efficiency wrapthrough solar cells for Space Station Freedom. The goal of this contract was the development and fabrication of 8 x 8 cm coplanar back contact solar cells with a minimum output of 1.039 watts/cell. The first task in this program was a modeling study to determine the optimum configuration of the cell and to study the effects of surface passivation, substrate resistivity, and back surface field on the BOL and EOL performance. In addition, the optical stack, including the cell cover, AR coatings, and Kapton blanket, was modeled to optimize 'on orbit' operation. The second phase was a manufacturing development phase to develop high volume manufacturing processes for the reliable production of low recombination velocity boron back surface fields, techniques to produce smooth, low leakage wrapthrough holes, passivation, photoresist application methods, and metallization schemes. The final portion of this program was a pilot production phase. Seven hundred solar cells were delivered in this phase. At the end of the program, cells with average efficiencies over 13 percent were being produced with power output in excess of 1.139 watts/cell, thus substantially exceeding the program goal.

  5. Efficient nanorod-based amorphous silicon solar cells with advanced light trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Y.; van Lare, M. C.; Veldhuizen, L. W.; Polman, A.; Rath, J. K.; Schropp, R. E. I.

    2015-11-01

    We present a simple, low-cost, and scalable approach for the fabrication of efficient nanorod-based solar cells. Templates with arrays of self-assembled ZnO nanorods with tunable morphology are synthesized by chemical bath deposition using a low process temperature at 80 °C. The nanorod templates are conformally coated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon light absorber layers of 100 nm and 200 nm thickness. An initial efficiency of up to 9.0% is achieved for the optimized design. External quantum efficiency measurements on the nanorod cells show a substantial photocurrent enhancement both in the red and the blue parts of the solar spectrum. Key insights in the light trapping mechanisms in these arrays are obtained via a combination of three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations, optical absorption, and external quantum efficiency measurements. Front surface patterns enhance the light incoupling in the blue, while rear side patterns lead to enhanced light trapping in the red. The red response in the nanorod cells is limited by absorption in the patterned Ag back contact. With these findings, we develop and experimentally realize a further advanced design with patterned front and back sides while keeping the Ag reflector flat, showing significantly enhanced scattering from the back reflector with reduced parasitic absorption in the Ag and thus higher photocurrent generation. Many of the findings in this work can serve to provide insights for further optimization of nanostructures for thin-film solar cells in a broad range of materials.

  6. Efficient nanorod-based amorphous silicon solar cells with advanced light trapping

    SciTech Connect

    Kuang, Y.; Lare, M. C. van; Polman, A.; Veldhuizen, L. W.; Schropp, R. E. I.; Rath, J. K.

    2015-11-14

    We present a simple, low-cost, and scalable approach for the fabrication of efficient nanorod-based solar cells. Templates with arrays of self-assembled ZnO nanorods with tunable morphology are synthesized by chemical bath deposition using a low process temperature at 80 °C. The nanorod templates are conformally coated with hydrogenated amorphous silicon light absorber layers of 100 nm and 200 nm thickness. An initial efficiency of up to 9.0% is achieved for the optimized design. External quantum efficiency measurements on the nanorod cells show a substantial photocurrent enhancement both in the red and the blue parts of the solar spectrum. Key insights in the light trapping mechanisms in these arrays are obtained via a combination of three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain simulations, optical absorption, and external quantum efficiency measurements. Front surface patterns enhance the light incoupling in the blue, while rear side patterns lead to enhanced light trapping in the red. The red response in the nanorod cells is limited by absorption in the patterned Ag back contact. With these findings, we develop and experimentally realize a further advanced design with patterned front and back sides while keeping the Ag reflector flat, showing significantly enhanced scattering from the back reflector with reduced parasitic absorption in the Ag and thus higher photocurrent generation. Many of the findings in this work can serve to provide insights for further optimization of nanostructures for thin-film solar cells in a broad range of materials.

  7. Advanced methods for light trapping in optically thin silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagel, James Richard

    2011-12-01

    The field of light trapping is the study of how best to absorb light in a thin film of material when most light either reflects away at the surface or transmits straight through to the other side. This has tremendous application to the field of photovoltaics where thin silicon films can be manufactured cheaply, but also fail to capture all of the available photons in the solar spectrum. Advancements in light trapping therefore bring us closer to the day when photovoltaic devices may reach grid parity with traditional fossil fuels on the electrical energy market. This dissertation advances our understanding of light trapping by first modeling the effects of loss in planar dielectric waveguides. The mathematical framework developed here can be used to model any arbitrary three-layer structure with mixed gain or loss and then extract the total field solution for the guided modes. It is found that lossy waveguides possess a greater number of eigenmodes than their lossless counterparts, and that these "loss guided" modes attenuate much more rapidly than conventional modes. Another contribution from this dissertation is the exploration of light trapping through the use of dielectric nanospheres embedded directly within the active layer of a thin silicon film. The primary benefit to this approach is that the device can utilize a surface nitride layer serving as an antireflective coating while still retaining the benefits of light trapping within the film. The end result is that light trapping and light injection are effectively decoupled from each other and may be independently optimized within a single photovoltaic device. The final contribution from this work is a direct numerical comparison between multiple light trapping schemes. This allows us to quantify the relative performances of various design techniques against one another and objectively determine which ideas tend to capture the most light. Using numerical simulation, this work directly compares the absorption

  8. A program continuation to develop processing procedures for advanced silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Avery, J. E.; Scott-Monck, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    Shallow junctions, aluminum back surface fields and tantalum pentoxide (Ta205) antireflection coatings coupled with the development of a chromium-palladium-silver contact system, were used to produce a 2 x 4 cm wraparound contact silicon solar cell. One thousand cells were successfully fabricated using batch processing techniques. These cells were 0.020 mm thick, with the majority (800) made from nominal ten ohm-cm silicon and the remainder from nominal 30 ohm-cm material. Unfiltered, these cells delivered a minimum AMO efficiency at 25 C of 11.5 percent and successfully passed all the normal in-process and acceptance tests required for space flight cells.

  9. Advancements in n-Type Base Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Their Emergence in the Photovoltaic Industry

    PubMed Central

    ur Rehman, Atteq; Lee, Soo Hong

    2013-01-01

    The p-type crystalline silicon wafers have occupied most of the solar cell market today. However, modules made with n-type crystalline silicon wafers are actually the most efficient modules up to date. This is because the material properties offered by n-type crystalline silicon substrates are suitable for higher efficiencies. Properties such as the absence of boron-oxygen related defects and a greater tolerance to key metal impurities by n-type crystalline silicon substrates are major factors that underline the efficiency of n-type crystalline silicon wafer modules. The bi-facial design of n-type cells with good rear-side electronic and optical properties on an industrial scale can be shaped as well. Furthermore, the development in the industrialization of solar cell designs based on n-type crystalline silicon substrates also highlights its boost in the contributions to the photovoltaic industry. In this paper, a review of various solar cell structures that can be realized on n-type crystalline silicon substrates will be given. Moreover, the current standing of solar cell technology based on n-type substrates and its contribution in photovoltaic industry will also be discussed. PMID:24459433

  10. Silicon Solar Cell Turns 50

    SciTech Connect

    Perlin, J.

    2004-08-01

    This short brochure describes a milestone in solar (or photovoltaic, PV) research-namely, the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first viable silicon solar cell by three researchers at Bell Laboratories.

  11. Epitaxial silicon growth for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daiello, R. V.; Robinson, P. H.; Richman, D.

    1979-01-01

    The epitaxial procedures, solar cell fabrication, and evaluation techniques are described. The development of baseline epitaxial solar cell structures grown on high quality conventional silicon substrates is discussed. Diagnostic layers and solar cells grown on four potentially low cost silicon substrates are considered. The crystallographic properties of such layers and the performance of epitaxially grown solar cells fabricated on these materials are described. An advanced epitaxial reactor, the rotary disc, is described along with the results of growing solar cell structures of the baseline type on low cost substrates. The add on cost for the epitaxial process is assessed and the economic advantages of the epitaxial process as they relate to silicon substrate selection are examined.

  12. Solar energy innovation and Silicon Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammen, Daniel M.

    2015-03-01

    The growth of the U. S. and global solar energy industry depends on a strong relationship between science and engineering innovation, manufacturing, and cycles of policy design and advancement. The mixture of the academic and industrial engine of innovation that is Silicon Valley, and the strong suite of environmental policies for which California is a leader work together to both drive the solar energy industry, and keep Silicon Valley competitive as China, Europe and other area of solar energy strength continue to build their clean energy sectors.

  13. Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Martin A.

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Overview * Silicon cell development * Substrate production * Cell processing * Cell costs * Opportunities for improvement * Silicon-supported thin films * Summary * Acknowledgement * References

  14. Low cost silicon solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ravi, K. V.; Serreze, H. B.; Bates, H. E.; Morrison, A. D.; Jewett, D. N.; Ho, J. C. T.; Schwuttke, G. H.; Ciszek, T. F.; Kran, A.

    1975-01-01

    Continuous growth methodology for silicon solar cell ribbons deals with capillary effects, die effects, thermal effects and crystal shape effects. Emphasis centers on the shape of the meniscus at the ribbon edge as a factor contributing to ribbon quality with respect to defect densities. Structural and electrical characteristics of edge defined, film-fed grown silicon ribbons are elaborated. Ribbon crystal solar cells produce AMO efficiencies of 6 to 10%.

  15. Silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Hovel, H.J.

    1983-03-01

    A high efficiency silicon solar cell may be constructed by providing a two-stage drift field emitter with a 1 micron thickness on a drift field base region with a back surface field region. The stage of the drift field emitter adjacent to the junction is moderately doped from 1018 to 1016 atoms/cc adjacent the junction to minimize bandgap shrin and to maximize carrier lifetime while the stage of the emitter adjacent the surface is highly doped at 1019 atoms/cc to minimize sheet resistance. The drift field is aiding in both the emitter and base regions. The size of the base is less than an effective diffusion length. There is a difference in doping level in the base depending on the conductivity type of the silicon. For n-conductivity type the base is doped 1013 atoms/cc at the pn junction, increasing to 1016 atoms/cc in the drift field region. For p-conductivity type the base is doped 1016 at the junction, increasing to 1018 atoms/cc in the drift field. A back surface field is provided adjacent the ohmic contact on the part of the base remote from the junction by doping to 1020 to 1021 atoms/cc. A passivating antireflective layer is added to the light incident surface. The 1 micron emitter region contains a 0.1 to 0.2 mu m thick high conducting region adjacent the antireflective coating on the light incident surface and a drift field region 0.3 to 0.9 mu m thick. The base region has a drift field region 20 to 100 mu m thick and the overall base region is 50 to 450 mu m thick. The back surface field region is 1 mu m thick.

  16. Silicon MINP solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, L. C.; Addis, F. W.; Miller, W. A.

    1985-01-01

    The MINP solar cell concept refers to a cell structure designed to be a base region dominated device. Thus, it is desirable that recombination losses are reduced to the point that they occur only in the base region. The most unique feature of the MINP cell design is that a tunneling contact is utilized for the metallic contact on the front surface. The areas under the collector grid and bus bar are passivated by a thin oxide of tunneling thickness. Efforts must also be taken to minimize recombination at the surface between grid lines, at the junction periphery and within the emitter. Results of both theoretical and experimental studies of silicon MINP cells are given. Performance calculations are described which give expected efficiencies as a function of base resistivity and junction depth. Fabrication and characterization of cells are discussed which are based on 0.2 ohm-cm substrates, diffused emitters on the order of 0.15 to 0.20 microns deep, and with Mg MIS collector grids. A total area AM 1 efficiency of 16.8% was achieved. Detailed analyses of photocurrent and current loss mechanisms are presented and utilized to discuss future directions of research. Finally, results reported by other workers are discussed.

  17. Development of advanced methods for continuous Czochralski growth. Silicon sheet growth development for the large area silicon sheet task of the low cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfson, R. G.; Sibley, C. B.

    1978-01-01

    The three components required to modify the furnace for batch and continuous recharging with granular silicon were designed. The feasibility of extended growth cycles up to 40 hours long was demonstrated by a recharge simulation experiment; a 6 inch diameter crystal was pulled from a 20 kg charge, remelted, and pulled again for a total of four growth cycles, 59-1/8 inch of body length, and approximately 65 kg of calculated mass.

  18. Compensated amorphous silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Devaud, Genevieve

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell including an electrically conductive substrate, a layer of glow discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon over said substrate and having regions of differing conductivity with at least one region of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon has opposed first and second major surfaces where the first major surface contacts the electrically conductive substrate and an electrode for electrically contacting the second major surface. The intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon region is deposited in a glow discharge with an atmosphere which includes not less than about 0.02 atom percent mono-atomic boron. An improved N.I.P. solar cell is disclosed using a BF.sub.3 doped intrinsic layer.

  19. Solar-grade silicon prepared by carbothermic reduction of silica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aulich, H. A.; Schulze, F. W.; Urbach, H. P.; Lerchenberger, A.

    1986-01-01

    An advanced carbothermic reduction (ACR) process was developed to produce solar grade (SC) silicon from high purity silica and carbon. Preparation of starting materials and operation of the arc furnace to product high purity silicon is described. Solar cells prepared from single crystal SG-Si had efficiencies of up to 12.3% practically identical to cells made from electronic grade silicon. The ACR process is not in the pilot stage for further evaluation.

  20. Area Reports. Advanced materials and devices research area. Silicon materials research task, and advanced silicon sheet task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    The objectives of the Silicon Materials Task and the Advanced Silicon Sheet Task are to identify the critical technical barriers to low-cost silicon purification and sheet growth that must be overcome to produce a PV cell substrate material at a price consistent with Flat-plate Solar Array (FSA) Project objectives and to overcome these barriers by performing and supporting appropriate R&D. Progress reports are given on silicon refinement using silane, a chemical vapor transport process for purifying metallurgical grade silicon, silicon particle growth research, and modeling of silane pyrolysis in fluidized-bed reactors.

  1. Impurities in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    Metallic impurities, both singly and in combinations, affect the performance of silicon solar cells. Czochralski silicon web crystals were grown with controlled additions of secondary impurities. The primary electrical dopants were boron and phosphorus. The silicon test ingots were grown under controlled and carefully monitored conditions from high-purity charge and dopant material to minimize unintentional contamination. Following growth, each crystal was characterized by chemical, microstructural, electrical, and solar cell tests to provide a detailed and internally consistent description of the relationships between silicon impurity concentration and solar cell performance. Deep-level spectroscopy measurements were used to measure impurity concentrations at levels below the detectability of other techniques and to study thermally-induced changes in impurity activity. For the majority of contaminants, impurity-induced performance loss is due to a reduction of the base diffusion length. From these observations, a semi-empirical model which predicts cell performance as a function of metal impurity concentration was formulated. The model was then used successfully to predict the behavior of solar cells bearing as many as 11 different impurities.

  2. Multicrystalline silicon bifacial solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jimeno, J. C.; Luque, A.

    The results of several batches of multicrystalline silicon bifacial solar cells (HEM and cast) are analyzed. I-V curves are measured under front and back illuminations and also in the dark, at several temperatures. It is concluded that HEM wafers might be used to manufacture commercial bifacial cells, while the high base recombination prevents the use of cast wafers for this purpose.

  3. Method for processing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Tsuo, Y.S.; Landry, M.D.; Pitts, J.R.

    1997-05-06

    The instant invention teaches a novel method for fabricating silicon solar cells utilizing concentrated solar radiation. The solar radiation is concentrated by use of a solar furnace which is used to form a front surface junction and back-surface field in one processing step. The present invention also provides a method of making multicrystalline silicon from amorphous silicon. The invention also teaches a method of texturing the surface of a wafer by forming a porous silicon layer on the surface of a silicon substrate and a method of gettering impurities. Also contemplated by the invention are methods of surface passivation, forming novel solar cell structures, and hydrogen passivation. 2 figs.

  4. Method for processing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Tsuo, Y. Simon; Landry, Marc D.; Pitts, John R.

    1997-01-01

    The instant invention teaches a novel method for fabricating silicon solar cells utilizing concentrated solar radiation. The solar radiation is concentrated by use of a solar furnace which is used to form a front surface junction and back-surface field in one processing step. The present invention also provides a method of making multicrystallline silicon from amorphous silicon. The invention also teaches a method of texturing the surface of a wafer by forming a porous silicon layer on the surface of a silicon substrate and a method of gettering impurities. Also contemplated by the invention are methods of surface passivation, forming novel solar cell structures, and hydrogen passivation.

  5. Advancements in silicon web technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Easoz, J.; Mchugh, J. P.; Piotrowski, P.; Hundal, R.

    1987-01-01

    Low defect density silicon web crystals up to 7 cm wide are produced from systems whose thermal environments are designed for low stress conditions using computer techniques. During growth, the average silicon melt temperature, the lateral melt temperature distribution, and the melt level are each controlled by digital closed loop systems to maintain thermal steady state and to minimize the labor content of the process. Web solar cell efficiencies of 17.2 pct AM1 have been obtained in the laboratory while 15 pct efficiencies are common in pilot production.

  6. Laser wafering for silicon solar.

    SciTech Connect

    Friedmann, Thomas Aquinas; Sweatt, William C.; Jared, Bradley Howell

    2011-03-01

    Current technology cuts solar Si wafers by a wire saw process, resulting in 50% 'kerf' loss when machining silicon from a boule or brick into a wafer. We want to develop a kerf-free laser wafering technology that promises to eliminate such wasteful wire saw processes and achieve up to a ten-fold decrease in the g/W{sub p} (grams/peak watt) polysilicon usage from the starting polysilicon material. Compared to today's technology, this will also reduce costs ({approx}20%), embodied energy, and green-house gas GHG emissions ({approx}50%). We will use short pulse laser illumination sharply focused by a solid immersion lens to produce subsurface damage in silicon such that wafers can be mechanically cleaved from a boule or brick. For this concept to succeed, we will need to develop optics, lasers, cleaving, and high throughput processing technologies capable of producing wafers with thicknesses < 50 {micro}m with high throughput (< 10 sec./wafer). Wafer thickness scaling is the 'Moore's Law' of silicon solar. Our concept will allow solar manufacturers to skip entire generations of scaling and achieve grid parity with commercial electricity rates. Yet, this idea is largely untested and a simple demonstration is needed to provide credibility for a larger scale research and development program. The purpose of this project is to lay the groundwork to demonstrate the feasibility of laser wafering. First, to design and procure on optic train suitable for producing subsurface damage in silicon with the required damage and stress profile to promote lateral cleavage of silicon. Second, to use an existing laser to produce subsurface damage in silicon, and third, to characterize the damage using scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman spectroscopy mapping.

  7. Wafer-Scale Integration of Inverted Nanopyramid Arrays for Advanced Light Trapping in Crystalline Silicon Thin Film Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Suqiong; Yang, Zhenhai; Gao, Pingqi; Li, Xiaofeng; Yang, Xi; Wang, Dan; He, Jian; Ying, Zhiqin; Ye, Jichun

    2016-04-01

    Crystalline silicon thin film (c-Si TF) solar cells with an active layer thickness of a few micrometers may provide a viable pathway for further sustainable development of photovoltaic technology, because of its potentials in cost reduction and high efficiency. However, the performance of such cells is largely constrained by the deteriorated light absorption of the ultrathin photoactive material. Here, we report an efficient light-trapping strategy in c-Si TFs (~20 μm in thickness) that utilizes two-dimensional (2D) arrays of inverted nanopyramid (INP) as surface texturing. Three types of INP arrays with typical periodicities of 300, 670, and 1400 nm, either on front, rear, or both surfaces of the c-Si TFs, are fabricated by scalable colloidal lithography and anisotropic wet etch technique. With the extra aid of antireflection coating, the sufficient optical absorption of 20-μm-thick c-Si with a double-sided 1400-nm INP arrays yields a photocurrent density of 39.86 mA/cm2, which is about 76 % higher than the flat counterpart (22.63 mA/cm2) and is only 3 % lower than the value of Lambertian limit (41.10 mA/cm2). The novel surface texturing scheme with 2D INP arrays has the advantages of excellent antireflection and light-trapping capabilities, an inherent low parasitic surface area, a negligible surface damage, and a good compatibility for subsequent process steps, making it a good alternative for high-performance c-Si TF solar cells.

  8. Wafer-Scale Integration of Inverted Nanopyramid Arrays for Advanced Light Trapping in Crystalline Silicon Thin Film Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Suqiong; Yang, Zhenhai; Gao, Pingqi; Li, Xiaofeng; Yang, Xi; Wang, Dan; He, Jian; Ying, Zhiqin; Ye, Jichun

    2016-12-01

    Crystalline silicon thin film (c-Si TF) solar cells with an active layer thickness of a few micrometers may provide a viable pathway for further sustainable development of photovoltaic technology, because of its potentials in cost reduction and high efficiency. However, the performance of such cells is largely constrained by the deteriorated light absorption of the ultrathin photoactive material. Here, we report an efficient light-trapping strategy in c-Si TFs (~20 μm in thickness) that utilizes two-dimensional (2D) arrays of inverted nanopyramid (INP) as surface texturing. Three types of INP arrays with typical periodicities of 300, 670, and 1400 nm, either on front, rear, or both surfaces of the c-Si TFs, are fabricated by scalable colloidal lithography and anisotropic wet etch technique. With the extra aid of antireflection coating, the sufficient optical absorption of 20-μm-thick c-Si with a double-sided 1400-nm INP arrays yields a photocurrent density of 39.86 mA/cm(2), which is about 76 % higher than the flat counterpart (22.63 mA/cm(2)) and is only 3 % lower than the value of Lambertian limit (41.10 mA/cm(2)). The novel surface texturing scheme with 2D INP arrays has the advantages of excellent antireflection and light-trapping capabilities, an inherent low parasitic surface area, a negligible surface damage, and a good compatibility for subsequent process steps, making it a good alternative for high-performance c-Si TF solar cells. PMID:27071681

  9. Silicon film solar cell process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, R. B.; Mcneely, J. B.; Barnett, A. M.

    1984-01-01

    The most promising way to reduce the cost of silicon in solar cells while still maintaining performance is to utilize thin films (10 to 20 microns thick) of crystalline silicon. The method of solution growth is being employed to grow thin polycrystalline films of silicon on dissimilar substrates. The initial results indicate that, using tin as the solvent, this growth process only requires operating temperatures in the range of 800 C to 1000 C. Growth rates in the range of 0.4 to 2.0 microns per minute and grain sizes in the range of 20 to 100 microns were achieved on both quartz and coated steel substrates. Typically, an aspect ratio of two to three between the width and the Si grain thickness is seen. Uniform coverage of Si growth on quartz over a 2.5 x 2.5 cm area was observed.

  10. Silicon solar cells: Physical metallurgy principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauk, Michael G.

    2003-05-01

    This article reviews the physical metallurgy aspects of silicon solar cells. The production of silicon solar cells relies on principles of thermochemical extractive metallurgy, phase equilibria, solidification, and kinetics. The issues related to these processes and their impact on solar cell performance and cost are discussed.

  11. Inexpensive silicon sheets for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciszek, T. F.; Schwuttke, G. H.

    1977-01-01

    Technique of producing silicon sheets by drawing gridlike or porous graphite gauze through silicon melt is readily adaptable to mass production, making process applicable to inexpensive manufacture of solar cell arrays.

  12. 22. 8% efficient silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Blakers, A.W.; Wang, A.; Milne, A.M.; Zhao, J.; Green, M.A. )

    1989-09-25

    A new silicon solar cell structure, the passivated emitter and rear cell, is described. The cell structure has yielded independently confirmed efficiencies of up to 22.8%, the highest ever reported for a silicon cell.

  13. Solar Cells From Metallurgical-Grade Silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daiello, R. V.; Robinson, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    Epitaxial deposition produces acceptable solar cells from metallurgicalgrade silicon. Instead of diffusing dopants into silicon to form pn junction, junction is formed by growing epitaxial layer--one having crystal structure continuous with that of substrate--on metallurgical-grade silicon. Less pure forms of silicon, such as metallurgical-grade, are less expensive than semiconductor-grade material and help to lower cost of solar cells.

  14. Solar silicon via the Dow Corning process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. P.; Dosaj, V. D.

    1979-01-01

    Technical feasibility for high volume production of solar cell-grade silicon is investigated. The process consists of producing silicon from pure raw materials via the carbothermic reduction of quartz. This silicon was then purified to solar grade by impurity segregation during Czochralski crystal growth. Commercially available raw materials were used to produce 100 kg quantities of silicon during 60 hour periods in a direct arc reactor. This silicon produced single crystalline ingot, during a second Czochralski pull, that was fabricated into solar cells having efficiencies ranging from 8.2 percent to greater than 14 percent. An energy analysis of the entire process indicated a 5 month payback time.

  15. Amorphous silicon solar cell allowing infrared transmission

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell with a layer of high index of refraction material or a series of layers having high and low indices of refraction material deposited upon a transparent substrate to reflect light of energies greater than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon back into the solar cell and transmit solar radiation having an energy less than the bandgap energy of the amorphous silicon.

  16. Silicon Carbide Solar Cells Investigated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Raffaelle, Ryne P.

    2001-01-01

    The semiconductor silicon carbide (SiC) has long been known for its outstanding resistance to harsh environments (e.g., thermal stability, radiation resistance, and dielectric strength). However, the ability to produce device-quality material is severely limited by the inherent crystalline defects associated with this material and their associated electronic effects. Much progress has been made recently in the understanding and control of these defects and in the improved processing of this material. Because of this work, it may be possible to produce SiC-based solar cells for environments with high temperatures, light intensities, and radiation, such as those experienced by solar probes. Electronics and sensors based on SiC can operate in hostile environments where conventional silicon-based electronics (limited to 350 C) cannot function. Development of this material will enable large performance enhancements and size reductions for a wide variety of systems--such as high-frequency devices, high-power devices, microwave switching devices, and high-temperature electronics. These applications would supply more energy-efficient public electric power distribution and electric vehicles, more powerful microwave electronics for radar and communications, and better sensors and controls for cleaner-burning, more fuel-efficient jet aircraft and automobile engines. The 6H-SiC polytype is a promising wide-bandgap (Eg = 3.0 eV) semiconductor for photovoltaic applications in harsh solar environments that involve high-temperature and high-radiation conditions. The advantages of this material for this application lie in its extremely large breakdown field strength, high thermal conductivity, good electron saturation drift velocity, and stable electrical performance at temperatures as high as 600 C. This behavior makes it an attractive photovoltaic solar cell material for devices that can operate within three solar radii of the Sun.

  17. Silicon-film{trademark} on ceramic solar cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, R.B.; Bacon, C.; DiReda, V.; Ford, D.H.; Ingram, A.E.; Lampo, S.M.; Rand, J.A.; Ruffins, T.R.; Barnett, A.M.

    1993-02-01

    The Silicon-Film{trademark} design achieves high performance through the use of a thin silicon layer. Optimally designed thin crystalline solar cells (<50 microns thick) have performance advantages over conventional thick devices. The enhancement in performance requires the incorporation of back-surface passivation and light trapping. The high-performance Silicon-Film{trademark} design employs a metallurgical barrier between the low-cost substrate and the thin silicon layer. The properties of the metallurgical barrier must be engineered to implement specific device requirements, such as high back-surface reflectivity. Recent advances in process development are described here.

  18. Silicon concentrator solar cell research

    SciTech Connect

    Green, M.A.; Zhao, J.; Wang, A.; Dai, X.; Milne, A.; Cai, S.; Aberle, A.; Wenham, S.R.

    1993-06-01

    This report describes work conducted between December 1990 and May 1992 continuing research on silicon concentrator solar cells. The objectives of the work were to improve the performance of high-efficiency cells upon p-type substrates, to investigate the ultraviolet stability of such cells, to develop concentrator cells based on n-type substrates, and to transfer technology to appropriate commercial environments. Key results include the identification of contact resistance between boron-defused areas and rear aluminum as the source of anomalously large series resistance in both p- and n-type cells. A major achievement of the present project was the successful transfer of cell technology to both Applied Solar Energy Corporation and Solarex Corporation.

  19. Tandem junction amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1981-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell has an active body with two or a series of layers of hydrogenated amorphous silicon arranged in a tandem stacked configuration with one optical path and electrically interconnected by a tunnel junction. The layers of hydrogenated amorphous silicon arranged in tandem configuration can have the same bandgap or differing bandgaps.

  20. Solar cell with silicon oxynitride dielectric layer

    SciTech Connect

    Shepherd, Michael; Smith, David D

    2015-04-28

    Solar cells with silicon oxynitride dielectric layers and methods of forming silicon oxynitride dielectric layers for solar cell fabrication are described. For example, an emitter region of a solar cell includes a portion of a substrate having a back surface opposite a light receiving surface. A silicon oxynitride (SiO.sub.xN.sub.y, 0silicon oxynitride dielectric layer.

  1. Theory of bifacial sunlit silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparyan, Ferdinand V.; Aroutiounian, Vladimir M.

    2001-11-01

    Bifacial sunlit solar cells made of silicon p+nn+ structures are investigated theoretically. It is shown that the short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill-factor and efficiency strongly depend on both p+n junction parameters and n+n isojunction. Possibilities of manufacturing high-efficiency bifacial solar cells using silicon p+nn+ structures are discussed.

  2. Advanced Solar Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkinson, J. H.; Hobgood, J. M.

    1984-01-01

    The Advanced Solar Power System (ASPS) concentrator uses a technically sophisticated design and extensive tooling to produce very efficient (80 to 90%) and versatile energy supply equipment which is inexpensive to manufacture and requires little maintenance. The advanced optical design has two 10th order, generalized aspheric surfaces in a Cassegrainian configuration which gives outstanding performance and is relatively insensitive to temperature changes and wind loading. Manufacturing tolerances also have been achieved. The key to the ASPS is the direct absorption of concentrated sunlight in the working fluid by radiative transfers in a black body cavity. The basic ASPS design concepts, efficiency, optical system, and tracking and focusing controls are described.

  3. Light-Induced Degradation of Thin Film Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamelmann, F. U.; Weicht, J. A.; Behrens, G.

    2016-02-01

    Silicon-wafer based solar cells are still domination the market for photovoltaic energy conversion. However, most of the silicon is used only for mechanical stability, while only a small percentage of the material is needed for the light absorption. Thin film silicon technology reduces the material demand to just some hundred nanometer thickness. But even in a tandem stack (amorphous and microcrystalline silicon) the efficiencies are lower, and light-induced degradation is an important issue. The established standard tests for characterisation are not precise enough to predict the performance of thin film silicon solar cells under real conditions, since many factors do have an influence on the degradation. We will show some results of laboratory and outdoor measurements that we are going to use as a base for advanced modelling and simulation methods.

  4. Silicon solar cell efficiency improvement: Status and outlook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, M.

    1985-01-01

    Efficiency and operating life is an economic attribute in silicon solar cells application. The efficiency improvements made during the 30 year existence of the silicon solar cells, from about 6% efficiency at the beginning to 19% in the most recent experimental cells is illustrated. In the more stationary periods, the effort was oriented towards improving radiation resistance and yields on the production lines, while, in other periods, the emphasis was on reaching new levels of efficiency through better cell design and improved material processing. First results were forthcoming from the recent efforts. Considerably more efficiency advancement in silicon solar cells is expected, and the anticipated attainment of efficiencies significantly above 20% is discussed. Major advances in material processing and in the resulting material perfection are required.

  5. Nanocrystalline silicon based thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Swati

    2012-06-01

    Amorphous silicon solar cells and panels on glass and flexible substrate are commercially available. Since last few years nanocrystalline silicon thin film has attracted remarkable attention due to its stability under light and ability to absorb longer wavelength portion of solar spectrum. For amorphous silicon/ nanocrystalline silicon double junction solar cell 14.7% efficiency has been achieved in small area and 13.5% for large area modules internationally. The device quality nanocrystalline silicon films have been fabricated by RF and VHF PECVD methods at IACS. Detailed characterizations of the materials have been done. Nanocrystalline films with low defect density and high stability have been developed and used as absorber layer of solar cells.

  6. Advanced solar panel designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ralph, E. L.; Linder, E. B.

    1996-01-01

    Solar panel designs that utilize new high-efficiency solar cells and lightweight rigid panel technologies are described. The resulting designs increase the specific power (W/kg) achievable in the near-term and are well suited to meet the demands of higher performance small satellites (smallsats). Advanced solar panel designs have been developed and demonstrated on two NASA SBIR contracts at Applied Solar. The first used 19% efficient, large area (5.5 cm x 6.5 cm) GaAs/Ge solar cells with a lightweight rigid graphite epoxy isogrid substrate configuration. A 1,445 cm(exp 2) coupon was fabricated and tested to demonstrate 60 W/kg with a high potential of achieving 80 W/kg. The second panel design used new 22% efficiency, dual junction GaInP2/GaAs/Ge solar cells combined with a lightweight aluminum core/graphite fiber mesh facesheet substrate. A 1,445 cm(exp 2) coupon was fabricated and tested to demonstrate 105 W/kg with the potential of achieving 115 W/kg. This paper will address the construction details for the GaAs/isogrid and dual-junction GaAs/carbon mesh panel configurations. These are ultimately sized to provide 75 Watts and 119 Watts respectively for smallsats or may be used as modular building blocks for larger systems. GaAs/isogrid and dual-junction GaAs/carbon mesh coupons have been fabricated and tested to successfully demonstrate critical performance parameters and results are also provided here.

  7. Advanced silicon on insulator technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Godbey, D.; Hughes, H.; Kub, F.

    1991-01-01

    Undoped, thin-layer silicon-on-insulator was fabricated using wafer bonding and selective etching techniques employing a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) grown Si0.7Ge0.3 layer as an etch stop. Defect free, undoped 200-350 nm silicon layers over silicon dioxide are routinely fabricated using this procedure. A new selective silicon-germanium etch was developed that significantly improves the ease of fabrication of the bond and etch back silicon insulator (BESOI) material.

  8. Intermediate Bandgap Solar Cells From Nanostructured Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Black, Marcie

    2014-10-30

    This project aimed to demonstrate increased electronic coupling in silicon nanostructures relative to bulk silicon for the purpose of making high efficiency intermediate bandgap solar cells using silicon. To this end, we formed nanowires with controlled crystallographic orientation, small diameter, <111> sidewall faceting, and passivated surfaces to modify the electronic band structure in silicon by breaking down the symmetry of the crystal lattice. We grew and tested these silicon nanowires with <110>-growth axes, which is an orientation that should produce the coupling enhancement.

  9. Transmutation doping of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, R. F.; Westbrook, R. D.; Young, R. T.; Cleland, J. W.

    1977-01-01

    Normal isotopic silicon contains 3.05% of Si-30 which transmutes to P-31 after thermal neutron absorption, with a half-life of 2.6 hours. This reaction is used to introduce extremely uniform concentrations of phosphorus into silicon, thus eliminating the areal and spatial inhomogeneities characteristic of chemical doping. Annealing of the lattice damage in the irradiated silicon does not alter the uniformity of dopant distribution. Transmutation doping also makes it possible to introduce phosphorus into polycrystalline silicon without segregation of the dopant at the grain boundaries. The use of neutron transmutation doped (NTD) silicon in solar cell research and development is discussed.

  10. Fabricating solar cells with silicon nanoparticles

    DOEpatents

    Loscutoff, Paul; Molesa, Steve; Kim, Taeseok

    2014-09-02

    A laser contact process is employed to form contact holes to emitters of a solar cell. Doped silicon nanoparticles are formed over a substrate of the solar cell. The surface of individual or clusters of silicon nanoparticles is coated with a nanoparticle passivation film. Contact holes to emitters of the solar cell are formed by impinging a laser beam on the passivated silicon nanoparticles. For example, the laser contact process may be a laser ablation process. In that case, the emitters may be formed by diffusing dopants from the silicon nanoparticles prior to forming the contact holes to the emitters. As another example, the laser contact process may be a laser melting process whereby portions of the silicon nanoparticles are melted to form the emitters and contact holes to the emitters.

  11. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The results for Task 3 of the Low Cost Solar Array Project are presented. Task 3 is directed toward the development of a cost effective encapsulating system for photovoltaic modules using silicon based materials. The technical approach of the contract effort is divided into four special tasks: (1) technology review; (2) generation of concepts for screening and processing silicon encapsulation systems; (3) assessment of encapsulation concepts; and (4) evaluation of encapsulation concepts. The candidate silicon materials are reviewed. The silicon and modified silicon resins were chosen on the basis of similarity to materials with known weatherability, cost, initial tangential modulus, accelerated dirt pick-up test results and the ratio of the content of organic phenyl substitution of methyl substitution on the backbone of the silicon resin.

  12. Gap/silicon Tandem Solar Cell with Extended Temperature Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A. (Inventor)

    2006-01-01

    A two-junction solar cell has a bottom solar cell junction of crystalline silicon, and a top solar cell junction of gallium phosphide. A three (or more) junction solar cell has bottom solar cell junctions of silicon, and a top solar cell junction of gallium phosphide. The resulting solar cells exhibit improved extended temperature operation.

  13. Advanced solar panel designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ralph, E. L.; Linder, E.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes solar cell panel designs that utilize new hgih efficiency solar cells along with lightweight rigid panel technology. The resulting designs push the W/kg and W/sq m parameters to new high levels. These new designs are well suited to meet the demand for higher performance small satellites. This paper reports on progress made on two SBIR Phase 1 contracts. One panel design involved the use of large area (5.5 cm x 6.5 cm) GaAs/Ge solar cells of 19% efficiency combined with a lightweight rigid graphite fiber epoxy isogrid substrate configuration. A coupon (38 cm x 38 cm) was fabricated and tested which demonstrated an array specific power level of 60 W/kg with a potential of reaching 80 W/kg. The second panel design involved the use of newly developed high efficiency (22%) dual junction GaInP2/GaAs/Ge solar cells combined with an advanced lightweight rigid substrate using aluminum honeycomb core with high strength graphite fiber mesh facesheets. A coupon (38 cm x 38 cm) was fabricated and tested which demonstrated an array specific power of 105 W/kg and 230 W/sq m. This paper will address the construction details of the panels and an a analysis of the component weights. A strawman array design suitable for a typical small-sat mission is described for each of the two panel design technologies being studied. Benefits in respect to weight reduction, area reduction, and system cost reduction are analyzed and compared to conventional arrays.

  14. Large area Czochralski silicon for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rea, S. N.; Wakefield, G. F.

    1976-01-01

    A detailed model of a typical Czochralski silicon crystal puller is utilized to predict maximum crystal growth rate as a function of various furnace parameters. Results of this analysis, when combined with multiblade slurry sawing, indicate that the Czochralski process is highly attractive for achieving near-term cost reduction of solar cell silicon.

  15. Research on crystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Milstein, J.B.; Tsuo, Y.S.

    1984-06-01

    Since the 16th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, the focus of the Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Task at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) has narrowed somewhat. Responsibility for silicon material preparation and ribbon growth were consolidated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the end of FY 1983. Five subcontracts were awarded under RFP No. RB-2-02090, Research on Basic Understanding of High Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells. JPL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are also working on high-efficiency solar cell research under SERI subcontract. Reports of past solar cell improvements have prompted appreciable interest in the physical, chemical, and electrical transport properties of grain boundaries and other electrically active defects. Studies to achieve better understanding of the hydrogen passivation process are being conducted at various subcontractors, and our in-house research continues. This paper presents the results of these efforts as well as future directions.

  16. Arrays of ultrathin silicon solar microcells

    DOEpatents

    Rogers, John A; Rockett, Angus A; Nuzzo, Ralph; Yoon, Jongseung; Baca, Alfred

    2014-03-25

    Provided are solar cells, photovoltaics and related methods for making solar cells, wherein the solar cell is made of ultrathin solar grade or low quality silicon. In an aspect, the invention is a method of making a solar cell by providing a solar cell substrate having a receiving surface and assembling a printable semiconductor element on the receiving surface of the substrate via contact printing. The semiconductor element has a thickness that is less than or equal to 100 .mu.m and, for example, is made from low grade Si.

  17. Arrays of ultrathin silicon solar microcells

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, John A.; Rockett, Angus A.; Nuzzo, Ralph; Yoon, Jongseung; Baca, Alfred

    2015-08-11

    Provided are solar cells, photovoltaics and related methods for making solar cells, wherein the solar cell is made of ultrathin solar grade or low quality silicon. In an aspect, the invention is a method of making a solar cell by providing a solar cell substrate having a receiving surface and assembling a printable semiconductor element on the receiving surface of the substrate via contact printing. The semiconductor element has a thickness that is less than or equal to 100 .mu.m and, for example, is made from low grade Si.

  18. Recent technological advances in thin film solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ullal, H.S.; Zwelbel, K.; Surek, T.

    1990-03-01

    High-efficiency, low-cost thin film solar cells are an exciting photovoltaic technology option for generating cost-effective electricity in 1995 and beyond. This paper reviews the substantial advances made by several thin film solar cell technologies, namely, amorphous silicon, copper indium diselenide, cadmium telluride, and polycrystalline silicon. Recent examples of utility demonstration projects of these emerging materials are also discussed. 8 refs., 4 figs.

  19. Manufacture of silicon carbide using solar energy

    DOEpatents

    Glatzmaier, Gregory C.

    1992-01-01

    A method is described for producing silicon carbide particles using solar energy. The method is efficient and avoids the need for use of electrical energy to heat the reactants. Finely divided silica and carbon are admixed and placed in a solar-heated reaction chamber for a time sufficient to cause a reaction between the ingredients to form silicon carbide of very small particle size. No grinding of silicon carbide is required to obtain small particles. The method may be carried out as a batch process or as a continuous process.

  20. Dip-coated sheet silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Zook, J. D.; Scott, M. W.

    1976-01-01

    A cost-effective method is being developed for producing solar cell quality sheet silicon by dip coating inexpensive ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large grain silicon. Mullite (Aluminum Silicate) ceramic substrates coated with a thin layer of graphite have been dipped into molten silicon to produce 20-150 micron thick layers having grain sizes as large as .4 cm x 4 cm. With these silicon layers photovoltaic diodes have been fabricated with measured and inherent conversion efficiencies of 4% and 7%, respectively.

  1. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The results of a study for Task 3 of the Low Cost Solar Array Project, directed toward the development of a cost effective encapsulation system for photovoltaic modules using silicon based materials, are reported. Results of the following are discussed: (1) weather-ometer stressing vs. weathering history of silicon and silicon modified materials; (2) humidity/temperature cycling exposure; (3) exposure at high humidity/high temperature; (4) outdoor exposure stress; (5) thermal cycling stress; and (6) UV screening agents. The plans for the next quarter are outlined.

  2. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, James L.

    1996-01-01

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/.mu.c-Si) solar cells which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell.

  3. Three dimensional amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Kaschmitter, J.L.

    1996-07-23

    Three dimensional deep contact amorphous silicon/microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/{micro}c-Si) solar cells are disclosed which use deep (high aspect ratio) p and n contacts to create high electric fields within the carrier collection volume material of the cell. The deep contacts are fabricated using repetitive pulsed laser doping so as to create the high aspect p and n contacts. By the provision of the deep contacts which penetrate the electric field deep into the material where the high strength of the field can collect many of the carriers, thereby resulting in a high efficiency solar cell. 4 figs.

  4. Microcrystalline silicon and micromorph tandem solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppner, H.; Meier, J.; Torres, P.; Fischer, D.; Shah, A.

    ``Micromorph'' tandem solar cells consisting of a microcrystalline silicon bottom cell and an amorphous silicon top cell are considered as one of the most promising new thin-film silicon solar-cell concepts. Their promise lies in the hope of simultaneously achieving high conversion efficiencies at relatively low manufacturing costs. The concept was introduced by IMT Neuchâtel, based on the VHF-GD (very high frequency glow discharge) deposition method. The key element of the micromorph cell is the hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon bottom cell that opens new perspectives for low-temperature thin-film crystalline silicon technology. According to our present physical understanding microcrystalline silicon can be considered to be much more complex and very different from an ideal isotropic semiconductor. So far, stabilized efficiencies of about 12% (10.7% independently confirmed) could be obtained with micromorph solar cells. The scope of this paper is to emphasize two aspects: the first one is the complexity and the variety of microcrystalline silicon. The second aspect is to point out that the deposition parameter space is very large and mainly unexploited. Nevertheless, the results obtained are very encouraging and confirm that the micromorph concept has the potential to come close to the required performance criteria concerning price and efficiency.

  5. Towards stable silicon nanoarray hybrid solar cells

    PubMed Central

    He, W. W.; Wu, K. J.; Wang, K.; Shi, T. F.; Wu, L.; Li, S. X.; Teng, D. Y.; Ye, C. H.

    2014-01-01

    Silicon nanoarray hybrid solar cells benefit from the ease of fabrication and the cost-effectiveness of the hybrid structure, and represent a new research focus towards the utilization of solar energy. However, hybrid solar cells composed of both inorganic and organic components suffer from the notorious stability issue, which has to be tackled before the hybrid solar cells could become a viable alternative for harvesting solar energy. Here we show that Si nanoarray/PEDOT:PSS hybrid solar cells with improved stability can be fabricated via eliminating the water inclusion in the initial formation of the heterojunction between Si nanoarray and PEDOT:PSS. The Si nanoarray hybrid solar cells are stable against rapid degradation in the atmosphere environment for several months without encapsulation. This finding paves the way towards the real-world applications of Si nanoarray hybrid solar cells. PMID:24430057

  6. Harmful Shunting Mechanisms Found in Silicon Solar Cells (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-05-01

    Scientists developed near-field optical microscopy for imaging electrical breakdown in solar cells and identified critical electrical breakdown mechanisms operating in industrial silicon and epitaxial silicon solar cells.

  7. Inverted amorphous silicon solar cell utilizing cermet layers

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1979-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell incorporating a transparent high work function metal cermet incident to solar radiation and a thick film cermet contacting the amorphous silicon opposite to said incident surface.

  8. Advanced Solar Cells for Satellite Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flood, Dennis J.; Weinberg, Irving

    1994-01-01

    The multiple natures of today's space missions with regard to operational lifetime, orbital environment, cost and size of spacecraft, to name just a few, present such a broad range of performance requirements to be met by the solar array that no single design can suffice to meet them all. The result is a demand for development of specialized solar cell types that help to optimize overall satellite performance within a specified cost range for any given space mission. Historically, space solar array performance has been optimized for a given mission by tailoring the features of silicon solar cells to account for the orbital environment and average operating conditions expected during the mission. It has become necessary to turn to entirely new photovoltaic materials and device designs to meet the requirements of future missions, both in the near and far term. This paper will outline some of the mission drivers and resulting performance requirements that must be met by advanced solar cells, and provide an overview of some of the advanced cell technologies under development to meet them. The discussion will include high efficiency, radiation hard single junction cells; monolithic and mechanically stacked multiple bandgap cells; and thin film cells.

  9. Silicon solar photovoltaic power stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chowaniec, C. R.; Ferber, R. R.; Pittman, P. F.; Marshall, B. W.

    1977-01-01

    Modular design of components and arrays, cost estimates for modules and support structures, and cost/performance analysis of a central solar photovoltaic power plant are discussed. Costs of collector/reflector arrays are judged the dominant element in the total capital investment. High-concentration solar tracking arrays are recommended as the most economic means for producing solar photovoltaic energy when solar cells costs are high ($500 per kW generated). Capital costs for power conditioning subsystem components are itemized and system busbar energy costs are discussed at length.

  10. Low cost silicon solar cell array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartels, F. T. C.

    1974-01-01

    The technological options available for producing low cost silicon solar cell arrays were examined. A project value of approximately $250/sq m and $2/watt is projected, based on mass production capacity demand. Recommendations are included for the most promising cost reduction options.

  11. Aluminum doping improves silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Aluminum doped silicon solar cells with resistivities in the 10- to 20-ohm centimeter range have broad spectral response, high efficiency and long lifetimes in nuclear radiation environments. Production advantages include low material rejection and increased production yields, and close tolerance control.

  12. Silicon solar cells improved by lithium doping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, P. A.

    1970-01-01

    Results of conference on characteristics of lithium-doped silicon solar cells and techniques required for fabrication indicate that output of cells has been improved to point where cells exhibit radiation resistance superior to those currently in use, and greater control and reproducibility of cell processing have been achieved.

  13. Metal electrode for amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Williams, Richard

    1983-01-01

    An amorphous silicon solar cell having an N-type region wherein the contact to the N-type region is composed of a material having a work function of about 3.7 electron volts or less. Suitable materials include strontium, barium and magnesium and rare earth metals such as gadolinium and yttrium.

  14. Silicon nanowires for photovoltaic solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kui-Qing; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2011-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires are attracting intense interest as a promising material for solar energy conversion for the new-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology. In particular, silicon nanowires (SiNWs) are under active investigation for PV applications because they offer novel approaches for solar-to-electric energy conversion leading to high-efficiency devices via simple manufacturing. This article reviews the recent developments in the utilization of SiNWs for PV applications, the relationship between SiNW-based PV device structure and performance, and the challenges to obtaining high-performance cost-effective solar cells. PMID:20931630

  15. New Method of Solar Grade Silicon Production

    SciTech Connect

    Zadde, V. V.; Pinov, A. B.; Strebkov, D. S.; Belov, E. P.; Efimov, N. K.; Lebedev, E. N.; Korobkov, E. I.; Blake, D.; Touryan, K.

    2002-08-01

    One of the main advantages of photovoltaic solar cells (PVC) is their ecological clarity of direct conversion of solar energy to electricity. For wide spreading of PV technologies it is necessary to ensure that there is no environment pollution at the stage of PVC-s manufacturing, beginning from producing of polysilicon feedstock. The objective of this project is creation of ecologically clean method for production of solar grade polysilicon feedstock (SGPF) as raw material for PVCs, and also raw material for producing monocrystalline silicon, which is used in electronic industry.

  16. Silicon heterojunction solar cell and crystallization of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Meijun

    The rapid growth of photovoltaics in the past decade brings on the soaring price and demand for crystalline silicon. Hence it becomes necessary and also profitable to develop solar cells with over 20% efficiency, using thin (˜100mum) silicon wafers. In this respect, diffused junction cells are not the best choice, since the inescapable heating in the diffusion process not only makes it hard to handle thin wafers, but also reduces carriers' bulk lifetime and impairs the crystal quality of the substrate, which could lower cell efficiency. An alternative is the heterojunction cells, such as amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cell, where the emitter layer can be grown at low temperature (<200°C). In first part of this dissertation, I will introduce our work on front-junction SHJ solar cell, including the importance of intrinsic buffer layer; the discussion on the often observed anomalous "S"-shaped J-V curve (low fill factor) by using band diagram analysis; the surface passivation quality of intrinsic buffer and its relationship to the performance of front-junction SHJ cells. Although the a-Si:H is found to help to achieve high efficiency in c-Si heterojuntion solar cells, it also absorbs short wavelength (<600 nm) light, leading to non-ideal blue response and lower short circuit currents (JSC) in the front-junction SHJ cells. Considering this, heterojunction with both a-Si:H emitter and base contact on the back side in an interdigitated pattern, i.e. interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cell, is developed. This dissertation will show our progress in developing IBC-SHJ solar cells, including the structure design; device fabrication and characterization; two dimensional simulation by using simulator Sentaurus Device; some special features of IBC-SHJ solar cells; and performance of IBC-SHJ cells without and with back surface buffer layers. Another trend for solar cell industry is thin film solar cells, since

  17. Advanced Rainbow Solar Photovoltaic Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mardesich, Nick; Shields, Virgil

    2003-01-01

    Photovoltaic arrays of the rainbow type, equipped with light-concentrator and spectral-beam-splitter optics, have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop lightweight, high-efficiency solar electric power sources. This investigation has contributed to a revival of the concept of the rainbow photovoltaic array, which originated in the 1950s but proved unrealistic at that time because the selection of solar photovoltaic cells was too limited. Advances in the art of photovoltaic cells since that time have rendered the concept more realistic, thereby prompting the present development effort. A rainbow photovoltaic array comprises side-by-side strings of series-connected photovoltaic cells. The cells in each string have the same bandgap, which differs from the bandgaps of the other strings. Hence, each string operates most efficiently in a unique wavelength band determined by its bandgap. To obtain maximum energy-conversion efficiency and to minimize the size and weight of the array for a given sunlight input aperture, the sunlight incident on the aperture is concentrated, then spectrally dispersed onto the photovoltaic array plane, whereon each string of cells is positioned to intercept the light in its wavelength band of most efficient operation. The number of cells in each string is chosen so that the output potentials of all the strings are the same; this makes it possible to connect the strings together in parallel to maximize the output current of the array. According to the original rainbow photovoltaic concept, the concentrated sunlight was to be split into multiple beams by use of an array of dichroic filters designed so that each beam would contain light in one of the desired wavelength bands. The concept has since been modified to provide for dispersion of the spectrum by use of adjacent prisms. A proposal for an advanced version calls for a unitary concentrator/ spectral-beam-splitter optic in the form of a parabolic curved Fresnel-like prism

  18. Indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Feng, Tom; Ghosh, Amal K.

    1982-12-28

    A high photo-conversion efficiency indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cell is spray deposited from a solution containing indium trichloride. The solar cell exhibits an Air Mass One solar conversion efficiency in excess of about 10%.

  19. Surface and allied studies in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1984-01-01

    Significant improvements were made in the short-circuit current-decay method of measuring the recombination lifetime tau and the back surface recombination velocity S of the quasineutral base of silicon solar cells. The improvements include a circuit implementation that increases the speed of switching from the forward-voltage to the short-circuit conditions. They also include a supplementation of this method by some newly developed techniques employing small-signal admittance as a function of frequency omega. This supplementation is highly effective for determining tau for cases in which the diffusion length L greatly exceeds the base thickness W. Representative results on different solar cells are reported. Some advances made in the understanding of passivation provided by the polysilicon/silicon heterojunction are outlined. Recent measurements demonstrate that S 10,000 cm/s derive from this method of passivation.

  20. High efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sah, C. Tang

    1986-01-01

    A review of the entire research program since its inception ten years ago is given. The initial effort focused on the effects of impurities on the efficiency of silicon solar cells to provide figures of maximum allowable impurity density for efficiencies up to about 16 to 17%. Highly accurate experimental techniques were extended to characterize the recombination properties of the residual imputities in the silicon solar cell. A numerical simulator of the solar cell was also developed, using the Circuit Technique for Semiconductor Analysis. Recent effort focused on the delineation of the material and device parameters which limited the silicon efficiency to below 20% and on an investigation of cell designs to break the 20% barrier. Designs of the cell device structure and geometry can further reduce recombination losses as well as the sensitivity and criticalness of the fabrication technology required to exceed 20%. Further research is needed on the fundamental characterization of the carrier recombination properties at the chemical impurity and physical defect centers. It is shown that only single crystalline silicon cell technology can be successful in attaining efficiencies greater than 20%.

  1. Advanced photovoltaic solar array development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurland, Richard M.; Stella, Paul

    1989-01-01

    Phase 2 of the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array (APSA) program, started in mid-1987, is currently in progress to fabricate prototype wing hardware that will lead to wing integration and testing in 1989. The design configuration and key details are reviewed. A status of prototype hardware fabricated to date is provided. Results from key component-level tests are discussed. Revised estimates of array-level performance as a function of solar cell device technology for geosynchronous missions are given.

  2. Preface: Advances in solar physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgoulis, Manolis K.; Nakariakov, Valery M.

    2015-12-01

    The idea for this special issue of Advances in Space Research (ASR) was formulated during the 14th European Solar Physics Meeting (ESPM-14) that took place in Dublin, Ireland in September 2014. Since ASR does not publish conference proceedings, it was decided to extend a general call to the international solar-physics community for manuscripts pertinent to the following thematic areas: New and upcoming heliospheric observational and data assimilation facilities.

  3. Silicon Solar Cell Fabrication Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stafsudd, O. M.

    1980-01-01

    Device fabrication and photoconductive lifetime decay measurements were used to characterize single and polycrystalline silicon substracts. The device characterization of the processed materials was done by spectral response measurements and absolute quantum efficiency at a single wavelength. The results were then reduced to yield the diffusion length of the various samples. The photoconductive lifetime decay method was implemented in order to determine the minority carrier lifetime in unprocessed wafers.

  4. Flat-plate solar array project. Volume 3: Silicon sheet: Wafers and ribbons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briglio, A.; Dumas, K.; Leipold, M.; Morrison, A.

    1986-01-01

    The primary objective of the Silicon Sheet Task of the Flat-Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project was the development of one or more low cost technologies for producing silicon sheet suitable for processing into cost-competitive solar cells. Silicon sheet refers to high purity crystalline silicon of size and thickness for fabrication into solar cells. Areas covered in the project were ingot growth and casting, wafering, ribbon growth, and other sheet technologies. The task made and fostered significant improvements in silicon sheet including processing of both ingot and ribbon technologies. An additional important outcome was the vastly improved understanding of the characteristics associated with high quality sheet, and the control of the parameters required for higher efficiency solar cells. Although significant sheet cost reductions were made, the technology advancements required to meet the task cost goals were not achieved.

  5. Bifacial space silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobl, G.; Kasper, C.; Rasch, K.-D.; Roy, K.

    A bifacial light sensitive solar cell for use in space solar generators is presented. A bifacial cell is almost transparent for infrared radiation, resulting in a low solar absorptance (0.63 for a bare cell). The operating temperature in space is estimated to be 10-20 C lower than for BSR cells. This advantage holds for both LEO and GEO missions. In addition to the direct sun radiation the bifacial cell converts the albedo radiation reflected by the earth and illuminates the back side of the bifacial cell. This is particularly important for LEO missions. The efficiency of experimental cells, 50 to 180 microns thick, was found to be up to 40 percent higher than for conventional BSFR cells.

  6. Solar silicon from directional solidification of MG silicon produced via the silicon carbide route

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rustioni, M.; Margadonna, D.; Pirazzi, R.; Pizzini, S.

    1986-01-01

    A process of metallurgical grade (MG) silicon production is presented which appears particularly suitable for photovoltaic (PV) applications. The MG silicon is prepared in a 240 KVA, three electrode submerged arc furnace, starting from high grade quartz and high purity silicon carbide. The silicon smelted from the arc furnace was shown to be sufficiently pure to be directionally solidified to 10 to 15 kg. After grinding and acid leaching, had a material yield larger than 90%. With a MG silicon feedstock containing 3 ppmw B, 290 ppmw Fe, 190 ppmw Ti, and 170 ppmw Al, blended with 50% of off grade electronic grade (EG) silicon to reconduct the boron content to a concentration acceptable for solar cell fabrication, the 99% of deep level impurities were concentrated in the last 5% of the ingot. Quite remarkably this material has OCV values higher tham 540 mV and no appreciable shorts due to SiC particles.

  7. Amorphous Silicon-Carbon Nanostructure Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schriver, Maria; Regan, Will; Loster, Matthias; Zettl, Alex

    2011-03-01

    Taking advantage of the ability to fabricate large area graphene and carbon nanotube networks (buckypaper), we produce Schottky junction solar cells using undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films and nanostructured carbon films. These films are useful as solar cell materials due their combination of optical transparency and conductance. In our cells, they behave both as a transparent conductor and as an active charge separating layer. We demonstrate a reliable photovoltaic effect in these devices with a high open circuit voltage of 390mV in buckypaper devices. We investigate the unique interface properties which result in an unusual J-V curve shape and optimize fabrication processes for improved solar conversion efficiency. These devices hold promise as a scalable solar cell made from earth abundant materials and without toxic and expensive doping processes.

  8. Optical models for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, T.; Sopori, B.

    1995-08-01

    Light trapping is an important design feature for high-efficiency silicon solar cells. Because light trapping can considerably enhance optical absorption, a thinner substrate can be used which, in turn, can lower the bulk carrier recombination and concommitantly increase open-circuit voltage, and fill factor of the cell. The basic concepts of light trapping are similar to that of excitation of an optical waveguide, where a prism or a grating structure increases the phase velocity of the incoming optical wave such that waves propagated within the waveguide are totally reflected at the interfaces. Unfortunately, these concepts break down because the entire solar cell is covered with such a structure, making it necessary to develop new analytical approaches to deal with incomplete light trapping in solar cells. This paper describes two models that analyze light trapping in thick and thin solar cells.

  9. Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing chromium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, A. M. (Inventor)

    1982-01-01

    Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing about one quadrillon atoms cu cm of chromium is improved about 26% by thermal annealing of the silicon wafer at a temperature of 200 C to form chromium precipitates having a diameter of less than 1 Angstrom. Further improvement in efficiency is achieved by scribing laser lines onto the back surface of the wafer at a spacing of at least 0.5 mm and at a depth of less than 13 micrometers to preferentially precipitate chromium near the back surface and away from the junction region of the device. This provides an economical way to improve the deleterious effects of chromium, one of the impurities present in metallurgical grade silicon mateial.

  10. Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing chromium

    DOEpatents

    Frosch, Robert A. Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space; Salama, Amal M.

    1982-01-01

    Efficiency of silicon solar cells containing about 10.sup.15 atoms/cm.sup.3 of chromium is improved about 26% by thermal annealing of the silicon wafer at a temperature of 200.degree. C. to form chromium precipitates having a diameter of less than 1 Angstrom. Further improvement in efficiency is achieved by scribing laser lines onto the back surface of the wafer at a spacing of at least 0.5 mm and at a depth of less than 13 micrometers to preferentially precipitate chromium near the back surface and away from the junction region of the device. This provides an economical way to improve the deleterious effects of chromium, one of the impurities present in metallurgical grade silicon material.

  11. Ultrathin silicon solar cell assembly technology

    SciTech Connect

    Matsui, Y.; Kamimura, K.; Sakurai, K.; Kaminishi, S.; Matsutani, T.

    1985-01-01

    The assembly technology of newly developed ultrathin silicon solar cells was studied. The fundamental technology of welding interconnectors to 50-micron-thick, 2 x 4-cm solar cells, CIC (connector integrated cell) fabrication, module fabrication and of integrating these modules to substrates was developed, and thus the production process was established. In order to verify this production process, testing panels were fabricated and thermal cycling tests were performed. The test results showed that these panels had no visual damage and no electrical degradation.

  12. Origami-enabled deformable silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Rui; Huang, Hai; Liang, Hanshuang; Liang, Mengbing; Tu, Hongen; Xu, Yong; Song, Zeming; Jiang, Hanqing; Yu, Hongyu

    2014-02-24

    Deformable electronics have found various applications and elastomeric materials have been widely used to reach flexibility and stretchability. In this Letter, we report an alternative approach to enable deformability through origami. In this approach, the deformability is achieved through folding and unfolding at the creases while the functional devices do not experience strain. We have demonstrated an example of origami-enabled silicon solar cells and showed that this solar cell can reach up to 644% areal compactness while maintaining reasonable good performance upon cyclic folding/unfolding. This approach opens an alternative direction of producing flexible, stretchable, and deformable electronics.

  13. Environmentally benign silicon solar cell manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Tsuo, Y.S.; Gee, J.M.; Menna, P.; Strebkov, D.S.; Pinov, A.; Zadde, V.

    1998-09-01

    The manufacturing of silicon devices--from polysilicon production, crystal growth, ingot slicing, wafer cleaning, device processing, to encapsulation--requires many steps that are energy intensive and use large amounts of water and toxic chemicals. In the past two years, the silicon integrated-circuit (IC) industry has initiated several programs to promote environmentally benign manufacturing, i.e., manufacturing practices that recover, recycle, and reuse materials resources with a minimal consumption of energy. Crystalline-silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which accounted for 87% of the worldwide module shipments in 1997, are large-area devices with many manufacturing steps similar to those used in the IC industry. Obviously, there are significant opportunities for the PV industry to implement more environmentally benign manufacturing approaches. Such approaches often have the potential for significant cost reduction by reducing energy use and/or the purchase volume of new chemicals and by cutting the amount of used chemicals that must be discarded. This paper will review recent accomplishments of the IC industry initiatives and discuss new processes for environmentally benign silicon solar-cell manufacturing.

  14. Substrate for thin silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ciszek, T.F.

    1995-03-28

    A photovoltaic device for converting solar energy into electrical signals comprises a substrate, a layer of photoconductive semiconductor material grown on said substrate, wherein the substrate comprises an alloy of boron and silicon, the boron being present in a range of from 0.1 to 1.3 atomic percent, the alloy having a lattice constant substantially matched to that of the photoconductive semiconductor material and a resistivity of less than 1{times}10{sup {minus}3} ohm-cm. 4 figures.

  15. MIS silicon solar cells: potential advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Cheek, G.; Mertens, R.

    1981-05-01

    Recent progress with silicon solar cells based on the MIS or SIS structure is reviewed. To be competitive with pn junction technology in the near term, these cells must be much cheaper or have a higher efficiency in a production environment. Apparently, the minority carrier MIS cells have the greatest potential for large-scale applications. The data currently indicate that all types of MIS/SIS cells have some inherent instability problems.

  16. Fracture strength of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, C. P.

    1979-01-01

    A test program was developed to determine the nature and source of the flaw controlling the fracture of silicon solar cells and to provide information regarding the mechanical strength of cells. Significant changes in fracture strengths were found in seven selected in-process wafer-to-cell products from a manufacturer's production line. The fracture strength data were statistically analyzed and interpreted in light of the exterior flaw distribution of the samples.

  17. Substrate for thin silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ciszek, Theodore F.

    1995-01-01

    A photovoltaic device for converting solar energy into electrical signals comprises a substrate, a layer of photoconductive semiconductor material grown on said substrate, wherein the substrate comprises an alloy of boron and silicon, the boron being present in a range of from 0.1 to 1.3 atomic percent, the alloy having a lattice constant substantially matched to that of the photoconductive semiconductor material and a resistivity of less than 1.times.10.sup.-3 ohm-cm.

  18. High efficiency silicon solar cell review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Godlewski, M. P. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    An overview is presented of the current research and development efforts to improve the performance of the silicon solar cell. The 24 papers presented reviewed experimental and analytic modeling work which emphasizes the improvment of conversion efficiency and the reduction of manufacturing costs. A summary is given of the round-table discussion, in which the near- and far-term directions of future efficiency improvements were discussed.

  19. Low cost silicon-on-ceramic photovoltaic solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koepke, B. G.; Heaps, J. D.; Grung, B. L.; Zook, J. D.; Sibold, J. D.; Leipold, M. H.

    1980-01-01

    A technique has been developed for coating low-cost mullite-based refractory substrates with thin layers of solar cell quality silicon. The technique involves first carbonizing one surface of the ceramic and then contacting it with molten silicon. The silicon wets the carbonized surface and, under the proper thermal conditions, solidifies as a large-grained sheet. Solar cells produced from this composite silicon-on-ceramic material have exhibited total area conversion efficiencies of ten percent.

  20. Comparison of silicon oxide and silicon carbide absorber materials in silicon thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walder, Cordula; Kellermann, Martin; Wendler, Elke; Rensberg, Jura; von Maydell, Karsten; Agert, Carsten

    2015-02-01

    Since solar energy conversion by photovoltaics is most efficient for photon energies at the bandgap of the absorbing material the idea of combining absorber layers with different bandgaps in a multijunction cell has become popular. In silicon thin-film photovoltaics a multijunction stack with more than two subcells requires a high bandgap amorphous silicon alloy top cell absorber to achieve an optimal bandgap combination. We address the question whether amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) or amorphous silicon oxide (a-SiO:H) is more suited for this type of top cell absorber. Our single cell results show a better performance of amorphous silicon carbide with respect to fill factor and especially open circuit voltage at equivalent Tauc bandgaps. The microstructure factor of single layers indicates less void structure in amorphous silicon carbide than in amorphous silicon oxide. Yet photoconductivity of silicon oxide films seems to be higher which could be explained by the material being not truly intrinsic. On the other hand better cell performance of amorphous silicon carbide absorber layers might be connected to better hole transport in the cell.

  1. Development of standardized specifications for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott-Monck, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    A space silicon solar cell assembly (cell and coverglass) specification aimed at standardizing the diverse requirements of current cell or assembly specifications was developed. This specification was designed to minimize both the procurement and manufacturing costs for space qualified silicon solar cell assembilies. In addition, an impact analysis estimating the technological and economic effects of employing a standardized space silicon solar cell assembly was performed.

  2. Solar silicon via improved and expanded metallurgical silicon technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. P.; Dosaj, V. D.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    A completed preliminary survey of silica sources indicates that sufficient quantities of high-purity quartz are available in the U.S. and Canada to meet goals. Supply can easily meet demand for this little-sought commodity. Charcoal, as a reductant for silica, can be purified to a sufficient level by high-temperature fluorocarbon treatment and vacuum processing. High-temperature treatment causes partial graphitization which can lead to difficulty in smelting. Smelting of Arkansas quartz and purified charcoal produced kilogram quantities of silicon having impurity levels generally much lower than in MG-Si. Half of the goal was met of increasing the boron resistivity from 0.03 ohm-cm in metallurgical silicon to 0.3 ohm-cm in solar silicon. A cost analysis of the solidification process indicate $3.50-7.25/kg Si for the Czochralski-type process and $1.50-4.25/kg Si for the Bridgman-type technique.

  3. Advanced solar thermal receiver technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kudirka, A. A.; Leibowitz, L. P.

    1980-01-01

    Development of advanced receiver technology for solar thermal receivers designed for electric power generation or for industrial applications, such as fuels and chemical production or industrial process heat, is described. The development of this technology is focused on receivers that operate from 1000 F to 3000 F and above. Development strategy is mapped in terms of application requirements, and the related system and technical requirements. Receiver performance requirements and current development efforts are covered for five classes of receiver applications: high temperature, advanced Brayton, Stirling, and Rankine cycle engines, and fuels and chemicals.

  4. Studies of silicon PN junction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1975-01-01

    Silicon pn junction solar cells made with low-resistivity substrates show poorer performance than traditional theory predicts. The purpose of this research was to identify and characterize the physical mechanisms responsible for the discrepancy. Attention was concentrated on the open circuit voltage in shallow junction cells of 0.1 ohm-cm substrate resistivity. A number of possible mechanisms that can occur in silicon devices were considered. Two mechanisms which are likely to be of main importance in explaining the observed low values of open-circuit voltage were found: (1) recombination losses associated with defects introduced during junction formation, and (2) inhomogeneity of defects and impurities across the area of the cell. To explore these theoretical anticipations, various diode test structures were designed and fabricated and measurement configurations for characterizing the defect properties and the areal inhomogeneity were constructed.

  5. Determination of a Definition of Solar Grade Silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, D. E.; Gutsche, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    A definition of solar grade silicon was determined by investigating the singular and the combined effect of the impurities usually found in metallurgical grade silicon on solar cell device performance. The impurity matrix was defined by Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Direction Memorandum. The initial work was focussed on standardizing the solar cell process and test procedure, growing baseline crystals, growing crystals contaminated with carbon, iron, nickel, zirconium, aluminum and vanadium, solar blank preparation, and material characterization.

  6. Nonlinear behaviours of bifacial silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, J. M.

    A theoretical model to account for superlinear spectral photocurrent-irradiance characteristics of solar cells is presented. The model is applied to bifacial BSF silicon cells under separate front and posterior illumination modes. Simple formulas for the internal quantum efficiencies of the base region are obtained. Ohmic electric field as well as trap-filling effects are considered to be responsible for superlinear characteristics under low-injection conditions, but usually correspond to separate ranges of influence. High-injection effects only change this behavior at very high irradiances. Back-illuminated cells are found to be much more sensible to nonlinearities than conventional front-illuminated cells.

  7. Thin-film polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funghnan, B. W.; Blanc, J.; Phillips, W.; Redfield, D.

    1980-08-01

    Thirty-four new solar cells were fabricated on Wacker Sislo substrates and the AM-1 parameters were measured. A detailed comparison was made between the measurement of minority carrier diffusion length by the OE method and the penetrating light laser scan grain boundary photoresponse linewidth method. The laser scan method has more experimental uncertainty and agrees within 10 to 50% with the QE method. It allows determination of L over a large area. Atomic hydrogen passivation studies continued on Wacker material by three techniques. A method of determining surface recombination velocity, s, from laser scan data was developed. No change in s in completed solar cells after H-plasma treatment was observed within experimental error. H-passivation of bare silicon cars as measured by the new laser scan photoconductivity technique showed very large effects.

  8. LSSA (Low-cost Silicon Solar Array) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The Photovoltaic Conversion Program was established to find methods of economically generating enough electrical power to meet future requirements. Activities and progress in the following areas are discussed: silicon-refinement processes; silicon-sheet-growth techniques; encapsulants; manufacturing of off-the-shelf solar arrays; and procurement of semistandardized solar arrays.

  9. Advances in Solar Power Forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haupt, S. E.; Kosovic, B.; Drobot, S.

    2014-12-01

    The National Center for Atmospheric Research and partners are building a blended SunCast Solar Power Forecasting system. This system includes several short-range nowcasting models and improves upon longer range numerical weather prediction (NWP) models as part of the "Public-Private-Academic Partnership to Advance Solar Power Forecasting." The nowcasting models being built include statistical learning models that include cloud regime prediction, multiple sky imager-based advection models, satellite image-based advection models, and rapid update NWP models with cloud assimilation. The team has also integrated new modules into the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) to better predict clouds, aerosols, and irradiance. The modules include a new shallow convection scheme; upgraded physics parameterizations of clouds; new radiative transfer modules that specify GHI, DNI, and DIF prediction; better satellite assimilation methods; and new aerosol estimation methods. These new physical models are incorporated into WRF-Solar, which is then integrated with publically available NWP models via the Dynamic Integrated Forecast (DICast) system as well as the Nowcast Blender to provide seamless forecasts at partner utility and balancing authority commercial solar farms. The improvements will be described and results to date discussed.

  10. Amorphous silicon/polycrystalline thin film solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ullal, H.S.

    1991-03-13

    An improved photovoltaic solar cell is described including a p-type amorphous silicon layer, intrinsic amorphous silicon, and an n-type polycrystalline semiconductor such as cadmium sulfide, cadmium zinc sulfide, zinc selenide, gallium phosphide, and gallium nitride. The polycrystalline semiconductor has an energy bandgap greater than that of the amorphous silicon. The solar cell can be provided as a single-junction device or a multijunction device.

  11. LSSA (Low-cost Silicon Solar Array) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Methods are explored for economically generating electrical power to meet future requirements. The Low-Cost Silicon Solar Array Project (LSSA) was established to reduce the price of solar arrays by improving manufacturing technology, adapting mass production techniques, and promoting user acceptance. The new manufacturing technology includes the consideration of new silicon refinement processes, silicon sheet growth techniques, encapsulants, and automated assembly production being developed under contract by industries and universities.

  12. Advanced space solar dynamic receivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, Hal J.; Coombs, Murray G.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    A study has been conducted to generate and evaluate advanced solar heat receiver concepts suitable for orbital application with Brayton and Stirling engine cycles in the 7-kW size range. The generated receiver designs have thermal storage capability (to enable power production during the substantial eclipse period which accompanies typical orbits) and are lighter and smaller than state-of-the-art systems, such as the Brayton solar receiver being designed and developed by AiResearch for the NASA Space Station. Two receiver concepts have been developed in detail: a packed bed receiver and a heat pipe receiver. The packed bed receiver is appropriate for a Brayton engine; the heat pipe receiver is applicable for either a Brayton or Stirling engine. The thermal storage for both concepts is provided by the melting and freezing of a salt. Both receiver concepts offer substantial improvements in size and weight compared to baseline receivers.

  13. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Jianwei; Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2016-07-01

    The dehydrogenation of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) at temperatures above approximately 300 °C degrades its ability to passivate silicon wafer surfaces. This limits the temperature of post-passivation processing steps during the fabrication of advanced silicon heterojunction or silicon-based tandem solar cells. We demonstrate that a hydrogen plasma can rehydrogenate intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers that have been dehydrogenated by annealing. The hydrogen plasma treatment fully restores the effective carrier lifetime to several milliseconds in textured crystalline silicon wafers coated with 8-nm-thick intrinsic a-Si:H layers after annealing at temperatures of up to 450 °C. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation also translates to complete solar cells: A silicon heterojunction solar cell subjected to annealing at 450 °C (following intrinsic a-Si:H deposition) had an open-circuit voltage of less than 600 mV, but an identical cell that received hydrogen plasma treatment reached a voltage of over 710 mV and an efficiency of over 19%.

  14. Advances in Solar Heating and Cooling Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward, Dan S.

    1976-01-01

    Reports on technological advancements in the fields of solar collectors, thermal storage systems, and solar heating and cooling systems. Diagrams aid in the understanding of the thermodynamics of the systems. (CP)

  15. Improved silicon carbide for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Thomas J.

    1988-01-01

    This is the third annual technical report for the program entitled, Improved Silicon Carbide for Advanced Heat Engines, for the period February 16, 1987 to February 15, 1988. The objective of the original program was the development of high strength, high reliability silicon carbide parts with complex shapes suitable for use in advanced heat engines. Injection molding is the forming method selected for the program because it is capable of forming complex parts adaptable for mass production on an economically sound basis. The goals of the revised program are to reach a Weibull characteristic strength of 550 MPa (80 ksi) and a Weibull modulus of 16 for bars tested in 4-point loading. Two tasks are discussed: Task 1 which involves materials and process improvements, and Task 2 which is a MOR bar matrix to improve strength and reliability. Many statistically designed experiments were completed under task 1 which improved the composition of the batches, the mixing of the powders, the sinter and anneal cycles. The best results were obtained by an attritor mixing process which yielded strengths in excess of 550 MPa (80 ksi) and an individual Weibull modulus of 16.8 for a 9-sample group. Strengths measured at 1200 and 1400 C were equal to the room temperature strength. Annealing of machined test bars significantly improved the strength. Molding yields were measured and flaw distributions were observed to follow a Poisson process. The second iteration of the Task 2 matrix experiment is described.

  16. Improved silicon carbide for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Thomas J.

    1987-01-01

    This is the second annual technical report entitled, Improved Silicon Carbide for Advanced Heat Engines, and includes work performed during the period February 16, 1986 to February 15, 1987. The program is conducted for NASA under contract NAS3-24384. The objective is the development of high strength, high reliability silicon carbide parts with complex shapes suitable for use in advanced heat engines. The fabrication methods used are to be adaptable for mass production of such parts on an economically sound basis. Injection molding is the forming method selected. This objective is to be accomplished in a two-phase program: (1) to achieve a 20 percent improvement in strength and a 100 percent increase in Weibull modulus of the baseline material; and (2) to produce a complex shaped part, a gas turbine rotor, for example, with the improved mechanical properties attained in the first phase. Eight tasks are included in the first phase covering the characterization of the properties of a baseline material, the improvement of those properties and the fabrication of complex shaped parts. Activities during the first contract year concentrated on two of these areas: fabrication and characterization of the baseline material (Task 1) and improvement of material and processes (Task 7). Activities during the second contract year included an MOR bar matrix study to improve mechanical properties (Task 2), materials and process improvements (Task 7), and a Ford-funded task to mold a turbocharger rotor with an improved material (Task 8).

  17. Alternative designs for nanocrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhavan, Atul

    Nanocrystalline silicon is an attractive material for solar cells. It has very small grains, about 20 nm, and yet its electronic properties are very similar to those of crystalline silicon. The material exhibits smaller mobilities than crystalline Silicon, but the minority carrier lifetimes are reasonable. It is known that the properties of the material depend critically upon deposition parameters, in particular, the degree of grain boundary passivation achieved during growth and grain size. Previous work has shown that as the material grows, the grains tend to agglomerate into a cluster, and the development of this cluster leads to poorer electronic properties. The traditional method for overcoming such clustering has been to change the hydrogen to silane dilution ratio as the material grows, keeping the material near its crystalline to amorphous transition zone. However, this method is dependent upon the precise growth chemistry and is not suitable for mass production. In this project, we develop a new device design, a superlattice comprising alternating layers of amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon, which allows one to precisely control the agglomeration of grains without having to resort to hydrogen profiling techniques. We study structural properties such as grain size and the degree of crystallnity, and electronic properties such as carrier diffusion lengths and defect densities. We show that an appropriate design of the superlattice allows one to minimize defect densities and maximize carrier diffusion lengths. We also study how to reduce series resistance in solar cells, and show that an appropriate combination of superlattice and contacts can lead to devices with high fill factors and good solar cell efficiencies. We also report on a new discovery, namely that the optical absorption itself depends critically upon grain size. Larger grain sizes, up to 50 nm, lead to increased optical absorption, a totally unexpected and very useful discovery for devices

  18. Spraylon fluorocarbon encapsulation for silicon solar cell arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A development program was performed for evaluating, modifying, and optimizing the Lockheed formulated liquid transparent filmforming Spraylon fluorocarbon protective coating for silicon solar cells and modules. The program objectives were designed to meet the requirements of the low-cost automated solar cell array fabrication process. As part of the study, a computer program was used to establish the limits of the safe working stress in the coated silicon solar cell array system under severe thermal shock.

  19. MIS and PN junction solar cells on thin-film polycrystalline silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Ariotedjo, A.; Emery, K.; Cheek, G.; Pierce, P.; Surek, T.

    1981-05-01

    The Photovoltaic Advanced Silicon (PVAS) Branch at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) has initiated a comparative study to assess the potential of MIS-type solar cells for low-cost terrestrial photovoltaic systems in terms of performance, stability, and cost-effectiveness. Several types of MIS and SIS solar cells are included in the matrix study currently underway. This approach compares the results of MIS and p/n junction solar cells on essentially identical thin-film polycrystalline silicon materials. All cell measurements and characterizations are performed using uniform testing procedures developed in the Photovoltaic Measurements and Evaluation (PV M and E) Laboratory at SERI. Some preliminary data on the different cell structures on thin-film epitaxial silicon on metallurgical-grade substrates are presented here.

  20. Solar Concentrator Advanced Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knasel, Don; Ehresman, Derik

    1989-01-01

    The Solar Concentrator Advanced Development Project has successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a full scale prototypical solar dynamic concentrator for space station applications. A Truss Hexagonal Panel reflector was selected as a viable solar concentrator concept to be used for space station applications. This concentrator utilizes a modular design approach and is flexible in attainable flux profiles and assembly techniques. The detailed design of the concentrator, which included structural, thermal and optical analysis, identified the feasibility of the design and specific technologies that were required to fabricate it. The needed surface accuracy of the reflectors surface was found to be very tight, within 5 mrad RMS slope error, and results in very close tolerances for fabrication. To meet the design requirements, a modular structure composed of hexagonal panels was used. The panels, made up of graphite epoxy box beams provided the strength, stiffness and dimensional stability needed. All initial project requirements were met or exceeded by hardware demonstration. Initial testing of structural repeatability of a seven panel portion of the concentrator was followed by assembly and testing of the full nineteen panel structure. The testing, which consisted of theodolite and optical measurements over an assembly-disassembly-reassembly cycle, demonstrated that the concentrator maintained the as-built contour and optical characteristics. The facet development effort within the project, which included developing the vapor deposited reflective facet, produced a viable design with demonstrated optical characteristics that are within the project goals.

  1. High-efficiency concentrator silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sinton, R.A.; Cuevas, A.; King, R.R.; Swanson, R.M. . Solid-State Electronics Lab.)

    1990-11-01

    This report presents results from extensive process development in high-efficiency Si solar cells. An advanced design for a 1.56-cm{sup 2} cell with front grids achieved 26% efficiency at 90 suns. This is especially significant since this cell does not require a prismatic cover glass. New designs for simplified backside-contact solar cells were advanced from a status of near-nonfunctionality to demonstrated 21--22% for one-sun cells in sizes up to 37.5 cm{sup 2}. An efficiency of 26% was achieved for similar 0.64-cm{sup 2} concentrator cells at 150 suns. More fundamental work on dopant-diffused regions is also presented here. The recombination vs. various process and physical parameters was studied in detail for boron and phosphorous diffusions. Emitter-design studies based solidly upon these new data indicate the performance vs design parameters for a variety of the cases of most interest to solar cell designers. Extractions of p-type bandgap narrowing and the surface recombination for p- and n-type regions from these studies have a generality that extends beyond solar cells into basic device modeling. 68 refs., 50 figs.

  2. Effect of copper impurity on polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Koliwad, K. M.

    1978-01-01

    The presence of copper impurity, up to 10 to the 15th atoms/cc, in single crystal silicon has been shown to have no deleterious effect on the p-n junction solar cell performance. However, in polycrystalline silicon, copper atoms tend to migrate to the defect sites because of the structural sensitive properties of copper. This study was undertaken to investigate the influence of this behavior of copper impurity on the performance of p-n junction solar cells fabricated from structurally imperfect silicon. Two sets of polycrystalline silicon substrates containing copper were examined. In one set of samples, copper was incorporated during growth, whereas in the other, copper was diffused. Solar cells were fabricated on both the sets of substrates by a standard process. Dark and light I-V and spectral response characteristics of the cells were measured and compared with copper-free polycrystalline silicon solar cells. The results and the model are discussed.

  3. Advancing Concentrating Solar Power Research (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-02-01

    Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provide scientific, engineering, and analytical expertise to help advance innovation in concentrating solar power (CSP). This fact sheet summarizes how NREL is advancing CSP research.

  4. Black metallurgical silicon for solar energy conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaopeng; Lee, Jung-Ho; Sprafke, Alexander N.; Wehrspohn, Ralf B.

    2016-01-01

    Metal impurities are known to create deep traps in the silicon (Si) bandgap, significantly reducing the minority carrier lifetime and consequently deteriorating the efficiency of a Si-based solar conversion system. Traditional purification methods via ‘Siemens’ and metallurgical routes involve complex and energy-intensive processes. Therefore, it is highly desirable to develop novel Si treatment technologies. With the radical evolution of nanotechnology in the past decades, new nano-approaches are offering opportunities to diminish the detrimental impacts of metal impurities or upgrade low quality Si in a cost-effective and energy-saving way. Here we review various recently developed dry and wet chemical etching methods including reactive ion etching, electrochemical etching, stain etching and metal assisted chemical etching. The current progress and the application prospects of those methods in nanostructure creation and Si upgrading are given and discussed in detail.

  5. Thin silicon solar cell performance characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gay, C. F.

    1978-01-01

    Refined techniques for surface texturizing, back surface field and back surface reflector formation were evaluated for use with shallow junction, single-crystal silicon solar cells. Each process was characterized individually and collectively as a function of device thickness and bulk resistivity. Among the variables measured and reported are open circuit voltage, short circuit current and spectral response. Substantial improvements were obtained by the utilization of a low cost aluminum paste process to simultaneously remove the unwanted n(+) diffused region, form the back surface field and produce an ohmic contact metallization. The highly effective BSF which results from applying this process has allowed fabrication of cells 0.05 mm thick with initial outputs as high as 79.5 mW/4 sq cm (28 C, AM0) and superior electron radiation tolerance. Cells of 0.02 mm to 0.04 mm thickness have been fabricated with power to mass ratios well in excess of 2 watts per gram.

  6. Silicon solar cells: state of the art.

    PubMed

    Green, Martin A

    2013-08-13

    The vast majority of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells produced to date have been based on silicon wafers, with this dominance likely to continue well into the future. The surge in manufacturing volume over the last decade has resulted in greatly decreased costs. Multiple companies are now well below the US$1 W⁻¹ module manufacturing cost benchmark that was once regarded as the lowest possible with this technology. Despite these huge cost reductions, there is obvious scope for much more, as the polysilicon source material becomes more competitively priced, the new 'quasi-mono' and related controlled crystallization directional solidification processes are brought fully online, the sizes of ingot produced this way increase, wafer slicing switches to much quicker diamond impregnated approaches and cell conversion efficiencies increase towards the 25 per cent level. This makes the US Government's 'SunShot' target of US$1 W⁻¹ installed system cost by 2020 very achievable with silicon PVs. Paths to lower cost beyond this point are also explored. PMID:23816904

  7. Tailoring the optical constants in single-crystal silicon with embedded silver nanostructures for advanced silicon photonics applications

    SciTech Connect

    Akhter, Perveen; Huang, Mengbing Spratt, William; Kadakia, Nirag; Amir, Faisal

    2015-03-28

    Plasmonic effects associated with metal nanostructures are expected to hold the key to tailoring light emission/propagation and harvesting solar energy in materials including single crystal silicon which remains the backbone in the microelectronics and photovoltaics industries but unfortunately, lacks many functionalities needed for construction of advanced photonic and optoelectronics devices. Currently, silicon plasmonic structures are practically possible only in the configuration with metal nanoparticles or thin film arrays on a silicon surface. This does not enable one to exploit the full potential of plasmonics for optical engineering in silicon, because the plasmonic effects are dominant over a length of ∼50 nm, and the active device region typically lies below the surface much beyond this range. Here, we report on a novel method for the formation of silver nanoparticles embedded within a silicon crystal through metal gettering from a silver thin film deposited at the surface to nanocavities within the Si created by hydrogen ion implantation. The refractive index of the Ag-nanostructured layer is found to be 3–10% lower or higher than that of silicon for wavelengths below or beyond ∼815–900 nm, respectively. Around this wavelength range, the optical extinction values increase by a factor of 10–100 as opposed to the pure silicon case. Increasing the amount of gettered silver leads to an increased extinction as well as a redshift in wavelength position for the resonance. This resonance is attributed to the surface plasmon excitation of the resultant silver nanoparticles in silicon. Additionally, we show that the profiles for optical constants in silicon can be tailored by varying the position and number of nanocavity layers. Such silicon crystals with embedded metal nanostructures would offer novel functional base structures for applications in silicon photonics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and plasmonics.

  8. Tailoring the optical constants in single-crystal silicon with embedded silver nanostructures for advanced silicon photonics applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhter, Perveen; Huang, Mengbing; Spratt, William; Kadakia, Nirag; Amir, Faisal

    2015-03-01

    Plasmonic effects associated with metal nanostructures are expected to hold the key to tailoring light emission/propagation and harvesting solar energy in materials including single crystal silicon which remains the backbone in the microelectronics and photovoltaics industries but unfortunately, lacks many functionalities needed for construction of advanced photonic and optoelectronics devices. Currently, silicon plasmonic structures are practically possible only in the configuration with metal nanoparticles or thin film arrays on a silicon surface. This does not enable one to exploit the full potential of plasmonics for optical engineering in silicon, because the plasmonic effects are dominant over a length of ˜50 nm, and the active device region typically lies below the surface much beyond this range. Here, we report on a novel method for the formation of silver nanoparticles embedded within a silicon crystal through metal gettering from a silver thin film deposited at the surface to nanocavities within the Si created by hydrogen ion implantation. The refractive index of the Ag-nanostructured layer is found to be 3-10% lower or higher than that of silicon for wavelengths below or beyond ˜815-900 nm, respectively. Around this wavelength range, the optical extinction values increase by a factor of 10-100 as opposed to the pure silicon case. Increasing the amount of gettered silver leads to an increased extinction as well as a redshift in wavelength position for the resonance. This resonance is attributed to the surface plasmon excitation of the resultant silver nanoparticles in silicon. Additionally, we show that the profiles for optical constants in silicon can be tailored by varying the position and number of nanocavity layers. Such silicon crystals with embedded metal nanostructures would offer novel functional base structures for applications in silicon photonics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and plasmonics.

  9. Advanced dendritic web growth development and development of single-crystal silicon dendritic ribbon and high-efficiency solar cell program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hopkins, R. H.

    1986-01-01

    Efforts to demonstrate that the dendritic web technology is ready for commercial use by the end of 1986 continues. A commercial readiness goal involves improvements to crystal growth furnace throughput to demonstrate an area growth rate of greater than 15 sq cm/min while simultaneously growing 10 meters or more of ribbon under conditions of continuous melt replenishment. Continuous means that the silicon melt is being replenished at the same rate that it is being consumed by ribbon growth so that the melt level remains constant. Efforts continue on computer thermal modeling required to define high speed, low stress, continuous growth configurations; the study of convective effects in the molten silicon and growth furnace cover gas; on furnace component modifications; on web quality assessments; and on experimental growth activities.

  10. Solar cell structure incorporating a novel single crystal silicon material

    DOEpatents

    Pankove, Jacques I.; Wu, Chung P.

    1983-01-01

    A novel hydrogen rich single crystal silicon material having a band gap energy greater than 1.1 eV can be fabricated by forming an amorphous region of graded crystallinity in a body of single crystalline silicon and thereafter contacting the region with atomic hydrogen followed by pulsed laser annealing at a sufficient power and for a sufficient duration to recrystallize the region into single crystal silicon without out-gassing the hydrogen. The new material can be used to fabricate semiconductor devices such as single crystal silicon solar cells with surface window regions having a greater band gap energy than that of single crystal silicon without hydrogen.

  11. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minahan, J. A.

    1981-01-01

    The fabrication of solar cells from several unconventional silicon materials is described, and cell performance measured and analyzed. Unconventional materials evaluated are edge defined film fed grown (EFG), heat exchanger method (HEM), dendritic web grown, and continuous CZ silicons. Resistivity, current voltage, and spectral sensitivity of the cells were measured. Current voltage was measured under AM0 and AM1 conditions. Maximum conversion efficiencies of cells fabricated from these and other unconventional silicons were compared and test results analyzed. The HEM and continuous CZ silicon were found to be superior to silicon materials considered previously.

  12. High Efficiency, Low Cost Solar Cells Manufactured Using 'Silicon Ink' on Thin Crystalline Silicon Wafers

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniadis, H.

    2011-03-01

    Reported are the development and demonstration of a 17% efficient 25mm x 25mm crystalline Silicon solar cell and a 16% efficient 125mm x 125mm crystalline Silicon solar cell, both produced by Ink-jet printing Silicon Ink on a thin crystalline Silicon wafer. To achieve these objectives, processing approaches were developed to print the Silicon Ink in a predetermined pattern to form a high efficiency selective emitter, remove the solvents in the Silicon Ink and fuse the deposited particle Silicon films. Additionally, standard solar cell manufacturing equipment with slightly modified processes were used to complete the fabrication of the Silicon Ink high efficiency solar cells. Also reported are the development and demonstration of a 18.5% efficient 125mm x 125mm monocrystalline Silicon cell, and a 17% efficient 125mm x 125mm multicrystalline Silicon cell, by utilizing high throughput Ink-jet and screen printing technologies. To achieve these objectives, Innovalight developed new high throughput processing tools to print and fuse both p and n type particle Silicon Inks in a predetermined pat-tern applied either on the front or the back of the cell. Additionally, a customized Ink-jet and screen printing systems, coupled with customized substrate handling solution, customized printing algorithms, and a customized ink drying process, in combination with a purchased turn-key line, were used to complete the high efficiency solar cells. This development work delivered a process capable of high volume producing 18.5% efficient crystalline Silicon solar cells and enabled the Innovalight to commercialize its technology by the summer of 2010.

  13. New high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Crotty, G. T.

    1985-01-01

    A design for silicon solar cells was investigated as an approach to increasing the cell open-circuit voltage and efficiency for flat-plate terrestrial photovoltaic applications. This deviates from past designs, where either the entire front surface of the cell is covered by a planar junction or the surface is textured before junction formation, which results in an even greater (up to 70%) junction area. The heavily doped front region and the junction space charge region are potential areas of high recombination for generated and injected minority carriers. The design presented reduces junction area by spreading equidiameter dot junctions across the surface of the cell, spaced about a diffusion length or less from each other. Various dot diameters and spacings allowed variations in total junction area. A simplified analysis was done to obtain a first-order design optimization. Efficiencies of up to 19% can be obtained. Cell fabrication involved extra masking steps for selective junction diffusion, and made surface passivation a key element in obtaining good collection. It also involved photolithography, with line widths down to microns. A method is demonstrated for achieving potentially high open-circuit voltages and solar-cell efficiencies.

  14. Fundamental understanding and development of low-cost, high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    ROHATGI,A.; NARASIMHA,S.; MOSCHER,J.; EBONG,A.; KAMRA,S.; KRYGOWSKI,T.; DOSHI,P.; RISTOW,A.; YELUNDUR,V.; RUBY,DOUGLAS S.

    2000-05-01

    The overall objectives of this program are (1) to develop rapid and low-cost processes for manufacturing that can improve yield, throughput, and performance of silicon photovoltaic devices, (2) to design and fabricate high-efficiency solar cells on promising low-cost materials, and (3) to improve the fundamental understanding of advanced photovoltaic devices. Several rapid and potentially low-cost technologies are described in this report that were developed and applied toward the fabrication of high-efficiency silicon solar cells.

  15. Fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells by varying the temperature _of the substrate during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1982-01-01

    An improved process for fabricating amorphous silicon solar cells in which the temperature of the substrate is varied during the deposition of the amorphous silicon layer is described. Solar cells manufactured in accordance with this process are shown to have increased efficiencies and fill factors when compared to solar cells manufactured with a constant substrate temperature during deposition of the amorphous silicon layer.

  16. Defect behavior of polycrystalline solar cell silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, D.K.; Park, S.H.; Hwang, I.G.; Mohr, J.B.; Hanly, M.P.

    1993-05-01

    The major objective of this study, conducted from October 1988 to September 1991, was to gain an understanding of the behavior of impurities in polycrystalline silicon and the influence of these impurities on solar cell efficiency. The authors studied edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) and cast poly-Si materials and solar cells. With EFG Si they concentrated on chromium-doped materials and cells to determine the role of Cr on solar cell performance. Cast poly-Si samples were not deliberately contaminated. Samples were characterized by cell efficiency, current-voltage, deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS), surface photovoltage (SPV), open-circuit voltage decay, secondary ion mass spectrometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. They find that Cr forms Cr-B pairs with boron at room temperature and these pairs dissociate into Cr{sub i}{sup +} and B{sup {minus}} during anneals at 210{degrees}C for 10 min. Following the anneal, Cr-B pairs reform at room temperature with a time constant of 230 h. Chromium forms CrSi{sub 2} precipitates in heavily contaminated regions and they find evidence of CrSi{sub 2} gettering, but a lack of chromium segregation or precipitation to grain boundaries and dislocations. Cr-B pairs have well defined DLTS peaks. However, DLTS spectra of other defects are not well defined, giving broad peaks indicative of defects with a range of energy levels in the band gap. In some high-stress, low-efficiency cast poly-Si they detect SiC precipitates, but not in low-stress, high-efficiency samples. SPV measurements result in nonlinear SPV curves in some materials that are likely due to varying optical absorption coefficients due to locally varying stress in the material.

  17. The advanced solar cell orbital test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marvin, D. C.; Gates, M.

    1991-01-01

    The motivation for advanced solar cell flight experiments is discussed and the Advanced Solar Cell Orbital Test (ASCOT) flight experiment is described. Details of the types of solar cells included in the test and the kinds of data to be collected are given. The orbit will expose the cells to a sufficiently high radiation dose that useful degradation data will be obtained in the first year.

  18. Development of high-efficiency solar cells on silicon web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.; Meier, D. L.; Campbell, R. B.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Rai-Choudhury, P.

    1984-01-01

    The development of high efficiency solar cells on a silicon web is discussed. Heat treatment effects on web quality; the influence of twin plane lamellae, trace impurities and stress on minority carrier lifetime; and the fabrication of cells are discussed.

  19. Heavy doping effects in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1984-01-01

    Several of the key parameters describing the heavily doped regions of silicon solar cells are examined. The experimentally determined energy gap narrowing and minority carrier diffusivity and mobility are key factors in the investigation.

  20. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication, and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Leung, D. C.

    1981-01-01

    Work has progressed in fabrication and characterization of solar cells from ubiquitous crystallization process (UCP) wafers and LASS ribbons. Gettering tests applied to UCP wafers made little change on their performance compared with corresponding baseline data. Advanced processes such as shallow junction (SJ), back surface field (BSF), and multilayer antireflection (MLAR) were also applied. While BSF by Al paste had shunting problems, cells with SJ and BSF by evaporated Al, and MLAR did achieve 14.1% AMI on UCP silicon. The study of LASS material was very preliminary. Only a few cells with SJ, BSR, (no BSF) and MLAR were completed due to mechanical yield problems after lapping the material. Average efficiency was 10.7% AMI with 13.4% AMI for CZ controls. Relatively high minority carrier diffusion lengths were obtained. The lower than expected Jsc could be partially explained by low active area due to irregular sizes.

  1. Novel duplex vapor electrochemical method for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kapur, V.; Sancier, K. M.; Sanjurjo, A.; Leach, S.; Westphal, S.; Bartlett, R.; Nanis, L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress in the development of low-cost solar arrays is reported. Topics covered include: (1) development of a simplified feed system for the Na used in the Na-SiF4 reactor; (2) production of high purity silicon through the reduction of sodium fluosilicate with sodium metal; (3) the leaching process for recovering silicon from the reaction products of the SiF4-Na reaction; and (4) silicon separation by the melting of the reaction product.

  2. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1977-01-01

    Preparation for full scale operation of the pilot line included reduction of the back metallization coverage to reduce the differential thermal expansion of very thin cells, mapping excess injection current at low dark forward voltage, determining the radius of curvature for fracture as a function of silicon thickness, and determining absorptance/emittance ratios for thin silicon solar cells.

  3. Improved High/Low Junction Silicon Solar Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugroschel, A.; Pao, S. C.; Lindholm, F. A.; Fossum, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    Method developed to raise value of open-circuit voltage in silicon solar cells by incorporating high/low junction in cell emitter. Power-conversion efficiency of low-resistivity silicon solar cell considerably less than maximum theoretical value mainly because open-circuit voltage is smaller than simple p/n junction theory predicts. With this method, air-mass-zero opencircuit voltage increased from 600 mV level to approximately 650 mV.

  4. A silicon sheet casting experiment. [for solar cell water production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bickler, D. B.; Sanchez, L. E.; Sampson, W. J.

    1980-01-01

    The casting of silicon blanks for solar cells directly without slicing is an exciting concept. An experiment was performed to investigate the feasibility of developing a machine that casts wafers directly. A Czochralski furnace was modified to accept a graphite ingot-simulating fixture. Silicon was melted in the middle of the ingot simulator in a boron nitride mold. Sample castings showed reasonable crystal size. Solar cells were made from the cast blanks. The performance is reported.

  5. Buried contact multijunction thin film silicon solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Green, M.

    1995-08-01

    In early 1994, the Center for Photovoltaic Devices and Systems announced the filing of patent applications on an improved silicon thin film photovoltaic module approach. With material costs estimated to be about 20 times lower than those in present silicon solar cell modules along with other production advantages, this technology appears likely to make low cost, high performance solar modules available for the first time. This paper describes steps involved in making a module and module performance.

  6. The automated array assembly task of the low-cost silicon solar array project, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coleman, M. G.; Pryor, R. A.; Sparks, T. G.; Legge, R.; Saltzman, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    Several specific processing steps as part of a total process sequence for manufacturing silicon solar cells were studied. Ion implantation was identified as the preferred process step for impurity doping. Unanalyzed beam ion implantation was shown to have major cost advantages over analyzed beam implantation. Further, high quality cells were fabricated using a high current unanalyzed beam. Mechanically masked plasma patterning of silicon nitride was shown to be capable of forming fine lines on silicon surfaces with spacings between mask and substrate as great as 250 micrometers. Extensive work was performed on advances in plated metallization. The need for the thick electroless palladium layer was eliminated. Further, copper was successfully utilized as a conductor layer utilizing nickel as a barrier to copper diffusion into the silicon. Plasma etching of silicon for texturing and saw damage removal was shown technically feasible but not cost effective compared to wet chemical etching techniques.

  7. Plasma Texturing of Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Narayanan, Mohan; Roy, Madhu; Ruby, Douglas S.; Zaidi, Saleem H.

    1999-07-20

    Surface texture promotes enhanced light absorption in Si solar cells. The quality of lower cost multicrystalline-silicon (mc-Si) has increased to the point that its cell performance is close to that of single c-Si cells, with the major difference resulting from the inability to texture mc-Si affordably. This has reduced the cost-per-watt advantage of mc-Si. Surface texturing aimed at enhanced absorption in Si has been historically obtained by creating multimicrometer-sized pyramids using anisotropic wet etchants on single-crystalline silicon that take advantage of its single crystalline orientation. Since the surface feature sizes are several times the length of the incident solar wavelengths involved, the optical analysis of the reflected and absorbed light can be understood using geometrical optics. Geometrical textures reduce reflection and improve absorption by double-bounce and oblique light coupling into the semiconductor. However, geometrical texturing suffers from several disadvantages that limit its effectiveness. Some of these are listed below: (a) Wet-chemical anisotropic etching used to form random pyramids on <100> crystal orientation is not effective in the texturing of low-cost multicrystalline wafers, (b) Anti-reflection films deposited on random features to reduce reflection have a resonant structure limiting their effectiveness to a narrow range of angles and wavelengths. Various forms of surface texturing have been applied to mc-Si in research, including laser-structuring, mechanical grinding, porous-Si etching, and photolithographically defined etching. However, these may be too costly to ever be used in large-scale production. A Japanese firm has reported the development of an RIE process using Cl{sub 2} gas, which textures multiple wafers per batch, making it attractive for mass-production [1]. Using this process, they have produced a 17.1% efficient 225-cm{sup 2} mc-Si cell, which is the highest efficiency mc-Si cell of its size ever reported

  8. Demonstration of the feasibility of automated silicon solar cell fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, W. E.; Schwartz, F. M.

    1975-01-01

    A study effort was undertaken to determine the process, steps and design requirements of an automated silicon solar cell production facility. Identification of the key process steps was made and a laboratory model was conceptually designed to demonstrate the feasibility of automating the silicon solar cell fabrication process. A detailed laboratory model was designed to demonstrate those functions most critical to the question of solar cell fabrication process automating feasibility. The study and conceptual design have established the technical feasibility of automating the solar cell manufacturing process to produce low cost solar cells with improved performance. Estimates predict an automated process throughput of 21,973 kilograms of silicon a year on a three shift 49-week basis, producing 4,747,000 hexagonal cells (38mm/side), a total of 3,373 kilowatts at an estimated manufacturing cost of $0.866 per cell or $1.22 per watt.

  9. Silicon solar cell process. Development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1978-01-01

    Solar cells were fabricated from unconventional silicon sheets, and the performances were characterized with an emphasis on statistical evaluation. A number of solar cell fabrication processes were used and conversion efficiency was measured under AMO condition at 25 C. Silso solar cells using standard processing showed an average efficiency of about 9.6%. Solar cells with back surface field process showed about the same efficiency as the cells from standard process. Solar cells from grain boundary passivation process did not show any improvements in solar cell performance.

  10. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  11. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphousmore » silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.« less

  12. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-14

    With this study, amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300°C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  13. Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary C.

    2015-08-01

    Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

  14. Low cost silicon solar array project silicon materials task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A program was established to develop a high temperature silicon production process using existing electric arc heater technology. Silicon tetrachloride and a reductant will be injected into an arc heated mixture of hydrogen and argon. Under these high temperature conditions, a very rapid reaction is expected to occur and proceed essentially to completion, yielding silicon and gaseous sodium chloride. Techniques for high temperature separation and collection of the molten silicon will be developed using standard engineering approaches, and the salt vapor will later be electrolytically separated into its elemental constituents for recycle. Preliminary technical evaluations and economic projections indicate not only that this process appears to be feasible, but that it also has the advantages of rapid, high capacity production of good quality molten silicon at a nominal cost.

  15. Radiation characteristics of low resistivity float zone silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crotty, G. T.; Kachare, R.; Anspaugh, B. E.

    1987-01-01

    The effects of 1-MeV electron irradiation on silicon solar cells with AM0 efficiencies ranging from 17 to 17.7 percent are described. These cells were processed on low-resistivity FZ substrates using techniques recently developed for high-efficiency terrestrial silicon solar cells. Results indicate that these cells are more susceptible to radiation damage. However, they do maintain a greater overall power output than conventional cells to which they were compared. These cells do not demonstrate post-electron-irradiation photon decay as has been described for cells processed on 1-10 ohm-cm FZ silicon.

  16. Recent Advances in Solar Cell Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Bailey, Sheila G.; Piszczor, Michael F., Jr.

    1996-01-01

    The advances in solar cell efficiency, radiation tolerance, and cost over the last decade are reviewed. Potential performance of thin-film solar cells in space are discussed, and the cost and the historical trends in production capability of the photovoltaics industry are considered with respect to the requirements of space power systems. Concentrator cells with conversion efficiency over 30%, and nonconcentrating solar cells with efficiency over 25% are now available, and advanced radiation-tolerant cells and lightweight, thin-film arrays are both being developed. Nonsolar applications of solar cells, including thermophotovoltaics, alpha- and betavoltaics, and laser power receivers, are also discussed.

  17. Advances in solar radio astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundu, M. R.

    1982-01-01

    The status of the observations and interpretations of the sun's radio emission covering the entire radio spectrum from millimeter wavelengths to hectometer and kilometer wavelengths is reviewed. Emphasis is given to the progress made in solar radio physics as a result of recent advances in plasma and radiation theory. It is noted that the capability now exists of observing the sun with a spatial resolution of approximately a second of arc and a temporal resolution of about a millisecond at centimeter wavelengths and of obtaining fast multifrequency two-dimensional pictures of the sun at meter and decameter wavelengths. A summary is given of the properties of nonflaring active regions at millimeter, centimeter, and meter-decameter wavelengths. The properties of centimeter wave bursts are discussed in connection with the high spatial resolution observations. The observations of the preflare build-up of an active region are reviewed. High spatial resolution observations (a few seconds of arc to approximately 1 arcsec) are discussed, with particular attention given to the one- and two-dimensional maps of centimeter-wavelength burst sources.

  18. High efficiency solar cells for concentrator systems: silicon or multi-junction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slade, Alexander; Stone, Kenneth W.; Gordon, Robert; Garboushian, Vahan

    2005-08-01

    Amonix has become the first company to begin production of high concentration silicon solar cells where volumes are over 10 MW/year. Higher volumes are available due to the method of manufacture; Amonix solely uses semiconductor foundries for solar cell production. In the previous years of system and cell field testing, this method of manufacturing enabled Amonix to maintain a very low overhead while incurring a high cost for the solar cell. However, recent simplifications to the solar cell processing sequence resulted in cost reduction and increased yield. This new process has been tested by producing small qualities in very short time periods, enabling a simulation of high volume production. Results have included over 90% wafer yield, up to 100% die yield and world record performance (η =27.3%). This reduction in silicon solar cell cost has increased the required efficiency for multi-junction concentrator solar cells to be competitive / advantageous. Concentrator systems are emerging as a low-cost, high volume option for solar-generated electricity due to the very high utilization of the solar cell, leading to a much lower $/Watt cost of a photovoltaic system. Parallel to this is the onset of alternative solar cell technologies, such as the very high efficiency multi-junction solar cells developed at NREL over the last two decades. The relatively high cost of these type of solar cells has relegated their use to non-terrestrial applications. However, recent advancements in both multi-junction concentrator cell efficiency and their stability under high flux densities has made their large-scale terrestrial deployment significantly more viable. This paper presents Amonix's experience and testing results of both high-efficiency silicon rear-junction solar cells and multi-junction solar cells made for concentrated light operation.

  19. Design considerations for silicon HLE solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.; Pao, S. C.; Fossum, J. G.; Sah, C. T.

    1978-01-01

    The high-low (H-L) junction in the emitter region that defines the high-low-junction emitter (HLE) solar cell suppresses the dark emitter recombination current J sub E so that the base recombination current dominates in determining the open-circuit voltage. For silicon cells this enables the achievement of considerably larger values of open-circuit voltage than those achievable in conventional structures. This paper describes experiments that demonstrate the achievement of J sub E suppression (to less than 5 x 10 to the -14th A/sq cm) and large open-circuit voltage (640 mV) in HLE test cells of two distinct types. In the first type (the diffused HLE structure) impurity diffusion forms the H-L junction in the emitter; in the second type (the oxide-charge-induced HLE structure) the H-L junction is formed in emitter material of relatively low doping concentration by an oxide-charge-induced electron accumulation layer.

  20. Bilayer structures optimization as antireflective coating for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuccon, S.; Zuppella, P.; Corso, A. J.; Pelizzo, M. G.

    2014-10-01

    The optimization of a silicon solar cell involves also the design of a proper antireflective coating (AR). We have considered different bilayer structures. The use of bilayers is oriented to have an antireflective effect on a broader range of wavelengths compared to single film AR. The materials considered include silicon oxide, magnesium fluoride, silicon nitride and titanium oxide. The thickness of each film in each structure has been optimized by theoretical calculations in order to minimize the weighted reflectivity, Rw. This is calculated taking into account the optical reflectivity, the internal quantum efficiency of the silicon solar cell and the solar flux on all the range of wavelengths of interest. Some of these optimized structures have been realized by e-beam vapor deposition as first tests. The improved optical performance of the samples have been verified at the UV-vis-NIR spectrophotometer.

  1. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis, Phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    Solar cells from RTR ribbons, EFG (RF and RH) ribbons, dendritic webs, Silso wafers, cast silicon by HEM, silicon on ceramic, and continuous Czochralski ingots were fabricated using a standard process typical of those used currently in the silicon solar cell industry. Back surface field (BSF) processing and other process modifications were included to give preliminary indications of possible improved performance. The parameters measured included open circuit voltage, short circuit current, curve fill factor, and conversion efficiency (all taken under AM0 illumination). Also measured for typical cells were spectral response, dark I-V characteristics, minority carrier diffusion length, and photoresponse by fine light spot scanning. the results were compared to the properties of cells made from conventional single crystalline Czochralski silicon with an emphasis on statistical evaluation. Limited efforts were made to identify growth defects which will influence solar cell performance.

  2. Photocurrent images of amorphous-silicon solar-cell modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Q.; Shumka, A.; Trask, J.

    1985-01-01

    Results obtained in applying the unique characteristics of the solar cell laser scanner to investigate the defects and quality of amorphous silicon cells are presented. It is concluded that solar cell laser scanners can be effectively used to nondestructively test not only active defects but also the cell quality and integrity of electrical contacts.

  3. Applications of ion implantation for high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minnucci, J. A.; Kirkpatrick, A. R.

    1977-01-01

    Ion implantation is utilized for the dopant introduction processes necessary to fabricate a silicon solar cell. Implantation provides a versatile powerful tool for development of high efficiency cells. Advantages and problems of implantation and the present status of developmental use of the technique for solar cells are discussed.

  4. Silicon solar cells by ion implantation and pulsed energy processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, A. R.; Minnucci, J. A.; Shaughnessy, T. S.; Greenwald, A. C.

    1976-01-01

    A new method for fabrication of silicon solar cells is being developed around ion implantation in conjunction with pulsed electron beam techniques to replace conventional furnace processing. Solar cells can be fabricated totally in a vacuum environment at room temperature. Cells with 10% AM0 efficiency have been demonstrated. High efficiency cells and effective automated processing capabilities are anticipated.

  5. Improved silicon carbide for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Thomas J.

    1989-01-01

    The development of high strength, high reliability silicon carbide parts with complex shapes suitable for use in advanced heat engines is studied. Injection molding was the forming method selected for the program because it is capable of forming complex parts adaptable for mass production on an economically sound basis. The goals were to reach a Weibull characteristic strength of 550 MPa (80 ksi) and a Weibull modulus of 16 for bars tested in four-point loading. Statistically designed experiments were performed throughout the program and a fluid mixing process employing an attritor mixer was developed. Compositional improvements in the amounts and sources of boron and carbon used and a pressureless sintering cycle were developed which provided samples of about 99 percent of theoretical density. Strengths were found to improve significantly by annealing in air. Strengths in excess of 550 MPa (80 ksi) with Weibull modulus of about 9 were obtained. Further improvements in Weibull modulus to about 16 were realized by proof testing. This is an increase of 86 percent in strength and 100 percent in Weibull modulus over the baseline data generated at the beginning of the program. Molding yields were improved and flaw distributions were observed to follow a Poisson process. Magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectra were found to be useful in characterizing the SiC powder and the sintered samples. Turbocharger rotors were molded and examined as an indication of the moldability of the mixes which were developed in this program.

  6. Improved silicon nitride for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeh, Hun C.; Fang, Ho T.

    1987-01-01

    The technology base required to fabricate silicon nitride components with the strength, reliability, and reproducibility necessary for actual heat engine applications is presented. Task 2 was set up to develop test bars with high Weibull slope and greater high temperature strength, and to conduct an initial net shape component fabrication evaluation. Screening experiments were performed in Task 7 on advanced materials and processing for input to Task 2. The technical efforts performed in the second year of a 5-yr program are covered. The first iteration of Task 2 was completed as planned. Two half-replicated, fractional factorial (2 sup 5), statistically designed matrix experiments were conducted. These experiments have identified Denka 9FW Si3N4 as an alternate raw material to GTE SN502 Si3N4 for subsequent process evaluation. A detailed statistical analysis was conducted to correlate processing conditions with as-processed test bar properties. One processing condition produced a material with a 97 ksi average room temperature MOR (100 percent of goal) with 13.2 Weibull slope (83 percent of goal); another condition produced 86 ksi (6 percent over baseline) room temperature strength with a Weibull slope of 20 (125 percent of goal).

  7. Cz-Silicon Produced from Solar-Grade and Recycled Materials. Part II: Investigating Performances of Solar Cell Produced from Solar-Grade Cz-Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Song; Øvrelid, Eivind Johannes; Di Sabtino, Marisa; Juel, Mari; Tranell, Gabriella

    2015-03-01

    This paper is the second of two, investigating the properties of P-type Cz-silicon materials and solar cells produced with recycled silicon and Elkem Solar Silicon (ESS) materials. While the focus on the first work was on the bulk properties and grown defects of the material, the current study focuses on the solar cell performances. In the processing of the solar cells, the phosphorous diffusion process was optimized to improve the bulk properties and thus to maximize the final solar cell characteristics. Results from the characterization of material defects suggest that the performances of the experimental ingots are limited by the activated grown-in defects, which should be strictly controlled during crystal growth and solar cell processing. The solar cells produced from the investigated ingots showed efficiency values up to 18.5 pct and fill factor values up to 79 pct, comparable to conventional silicon produced from poly silicon. Solar cells produced from mixed recycled and ESS material exhibit a better performance than 100 pct recycled material. Boron and oxygen concentration levels and net doping level showed a concurrent effect on light-induced degradation (LID). Appropriate compensation was finally demonstrated to be an efficient way to improve solar cells efficiency of Cz-silicon produced from recycled silicon, even though higher dopant concentration incurred relatively faster LID.

  8. Low-cost industrial technologies of crystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Szlufcik, J.; Sivoththaman, S.; Nijs, J.F.; Mertens, R.P.; Overstraeten, R. van

    1997-05-01

    Approximately 2 billion people, mainly in Third World countries, are not connected to an electric grid. The standard, centralized grid development is too expensive and time consuming to solve the energy demand problem. Therefore, there is a need for decentralized renewable energy sources. The main attractiveness of solar cells is that they generate electricity directly from sunlight and can be mounted in modular, stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems. Particular attention is paid in this paper to crystalline silicon solar cells, since bulk silicon solar-cell (mono and multi) modules comprise approximately 85% of all worldwide PV module shipments. Energy conversion efficiency as high as 24% has been achieved on laboratory, small-area monocrystalline silicon cells, whereas the typical efficiency of industrial crystalline silicon solar cells is in the range of 13--16%. The market price of PV modules has remained for the last few years in the range of $3.5--4.5/watt peak (Wp). For the photovoltaic industry, the biggest concern is to improve the efficiency and decrease the price of the commercial PV modules. Efficiency-enhancement techniques of commercial cells are described in detail. Adaptation of many high-efficiency features to industrially fabricated solar cells resulted in efficiencies above 17% for multicrystalline and above 18% for monocrystalline silicon solar cells. The latest study shows that increasing the PV market size toward 500 MWp/y and accounting for realistic industrial improvements can lead to a drastic PV module price reduction down to $1/Wp. 120 refs.

  9. Carbon/Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: State of the Art and Prospects.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinming; Lv, Zheng; Zhu, Hongwei

    2015-11-01

    In the last few decades, advances and breakthroughs of carbon materials have been witnessed in both scientific fundamentals and potential applications. The combination of carbon materials with traditional silicon semiconductors to fabricate solar cells has been a promising field of carbon science. The power conversion efficiency has reached 15-17% with an astonishing speed, and the diversity of systems stimulates interest in further research. Here, the historical development and state-of-the-art carbon/silicon heterojunction solar cells are covered. Firstly, the basic concept and mechanism of carbon/silicon solar cells are introduced with a specific focus on solar cells assembled with carbon nanotubes and graphene due to their unique structures and properties. Then, several key technologies with special electrical and optical designs are introduced to improve the cell performance, such as chemical doping, interface passivation, anti-reflection coatings, and textured surfaces. Finally, potential pathways and opportunities based on the carbon/silicon heterojunction are envisaged. The aspects discussed here may enable researchers to better understand the photovoltaic effect of carbon/silicon heterojunctions and to optimize the design of graphene-based photodevices for a wide range of applications. PMID:26422457

  10. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A cost effective encapsulant system was identified and a silicone acrylic cover material containing a durable ultraviolet screening agent was prepared. The effectiveness of the cover material in protecting photo-oxidatively sensitive polymers was demonstrated.

  11. Studies of silicon p-n junction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugroschel, A.; Lindholm, F. A.

    1979-01-01

    To provide theoretical support for investigating different ways to obtain high open-circuit voltages in p-n junction silicon solar cells, an analytical treatment of heavily doped transparent-emitter devices is presented that includes the effects of bandgap narrowing, Fermi-Dirac statistics, a doping concentration gradient, and a finite surface recombination velocity at the emitter surface. Topics covered include: (1) experimental determination of bandgap narrowing in the emitter of silicon p-n junction devices; (2) heavily doped transparent regions in junction solar cells, diodes, and transistors; (3) high-low-emitter solar cell; (4) determination of lifetimes and recombination currents in p-n junction solar cells; (5) MOS and oxide-charged-induced BSF solar cells; and (6) design of high efficiency solar cells for space and terrestrial applications.

  12. Silver nanoparticles-coated glass frits for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yingfen; Gan, Weiping; Li, Biyuan

    2016-04-01

    Silver nanoparticles-coated glass frit composite powders for silicon solar cells were prepared by electroless plating. Silver colloids were used as the activating agent of glass frits. The products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. The characterization results indicated that silver nanoparticles with the melting temperature of 838 °C were uniformly deposited on glass frit surface. The particle size of silver nanoparticles could be controlled by adjusting the [Ag(NH3)2]NO3 concentration. The as-prepared composite powders were applied in the front side metallization of silicon solar cells. Compared with those based on pure glass frits, the solar cells containing the composite powders had the denser silver electrodes and the better silver-silicon ohmic contacts. Furthermore, the photovoltaic performances of solar cells were improved after the electroless plating.

  13. Response of silicon solar cell to pulsed laser illumination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willowby, D.; Alexander, D.; Edge, T.; Herren, K.

    1993-01-01

    The response of silicon solar cell(s) to pulsed laser illumination is discussed. The motivation was due to the interest of Earth to space/Moon power beaming applications. When this work began, it was not known if solar cells would respond to laser light with pulse lengths in the nanosecond range and a repetition frequency in the kHz range. This is because the laser pulse would be shorter than the minority carrier lifetime of silicon. A 20-nanosecond (ns) full width half max (FWHM) pulse from an aluminum-gallium/arsenide (Al-Ga-As) diode laser was used to illuminate silicon solar cells at a wavelength of 885 nanometers (nm). Using a high-speed digital oscilloscope, the response of the solar cells to individual pulses across various resistive loads was observed and recorded.

  14. Black silicon solar cell: analysis optimization and evolution towards a thinner and flexible future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardhan Roy, Arijit; Dhar, Arup; Choudhuri, Mrinmoyee; Das, Sonali; Minhaz Hossain, S.; Kundu, Avra

    2016-07-01

    Analysis and optimization of silicon nano-structured geometry (black silicon) for photovoltaic applications has been reported. It is seen that a unique class of geometry: micro-nanostructure has the potential to find a balance between the conflicting interests of reduced reflection for wide angles of incidence, reduced surface area enhancement due to the nano-structuring of the substrate and reduced material wastage due to the etching of the silicon substrate to realize the geometry itself. It is established that even optimally designed micro-nanostructures would not be useful for conventional wafer based approaches. The work presents computational studies on how such micro-nanostructures are more potent for future ultra-thin monocrystalline silicon absorbers. For such ultra-thin absorbers, the optimally designed micro-nanostructures provide additional advantages of advanced light management capabilities as it behaves as a lossy 2D photonic crystal making the physically thin absorber optically thick along with the ability to collect photo-generated carriers orthogonal to the direction of light (radial junction) for unified photon–electron harvesting. Most significantly, the work answers the key question on how thin the monocrystalline solar absorber should be so that optimum micro-nanostructure would be able to harness the incident photons ensuring proper collection so as to reach the well-known Shockley–Queisser limit of solar cells. Flexible ultra-thin monocrystalline silicon solar cells have been fabricated using nanosphere lithography and MacEtch technique along with a synergistic association of crystalline and amorphous silicon technologies to demonstrate its physical and technological flexibilities. The outcomes are relevant so that nanotechnology may be seamlessly integrated into the technology roadmap of monocrystalline silicon solar cells as the silicon thickness should be significantly reduced without compromising the efficiency within the next decade.

  15. Black silicon solar cell: analysis optimization and evolution towards a thinner and flexible future.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arijit Bardhan; Dhar, Arup; Choudhuri, Mrinmoyee; Das, Sonali; Hossain, S Minhaz; Kundu, Avra

    2016-07-29

    Analysis and optimization of silicon nano-structured geometry (black silicon) for photovoltaic applications has been reported. It is seen that a unique class of geometry: micro-nanostructure has the potential to find a balance between the conflicting interests of reduced reflection for wide angles of incidence, reduced surface area enhancement due to the nano-structuring of the substrate and reduced material wastage due to the etching of the silicon substrate to realize the geometry itself. It is established that even optimally designed micro-nanostructures would not be useful for conventional wafer based approaches. The work presents computational studies on how such micro-nanostructures are more potent for future ultra-thin monocrystalline silicon absorbers. For such ultra-thin absorbers, the optimally designed micro-nanostructures provide additional advantages of advanced light management capabilities as it behaves as a lossy 2D photonic crystal making the physically thin absorber optically thick along with the ability to collect photo-generated carriers orthogonal to the direction of light (radial junction) for unified photon-electron harvesting. Most significantly, the work answers the key question on how thin the monocrystalline solar absorber should be so that optimum micro-nanostructure would be able to harness the incident photons ensuring proper collection so as to reach the well-known Shockley-Queisser limit of solar cells. Flexible ultra-thin monocrystalline silicon solar cells have been fabricated using nanosphere lithography and MacEtch technique along with a synergistic association of crystalline and amorphous silicon technologies to demonstrate its physical and technological flexibilities. The outcomes are relevant so that nanotechnology may be seamlessly integrated into the technology roadmap of monocrystalline silicon solar cells as the silicon thickness should be significantly reduced without compromising the efficiency within the next decade

  16. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication, and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Leung, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    Solar cells from HEM, Dendritic Webs, and EFG ribbons were fabricated and characterized. The HEM solar cells showed only slight enhancement in cell performance after gettering steps (diffusion glass) were added. Dendritic webs from various growth runs indicated that performance of solar cells made from the webs was not as good as that of the conventional CZ cells. The EFG ribbons grown in CO ambient showed significant improvement in silicon quality.

  17. III-V/Silicon Lattice-Matched Tandem Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Geisz, J.; Olson, J.; Friedman, D.; Kurtz, S.; McMahon, W.; Romero, M.; Reedy, R.; Jones, K.; Norman, A.; Duda, A.; Kibbler, A.; Kramer, C.; Young, M.

    2005-01-01

    A two-junction device consisting of a 1.7-eV GaNPAs junction on a 1.1-eV silicon junction has the theoretical potential to achieve nearly optimal efficiency for a two-junction tandem cell. We have demonstrated a monolithic III-V-on-silicon tandem solar cell in which most of the III-V layers are nearly lattice-matched to the silicon substrate. The cell includes a GaNPAs top cell, a GaP-based tunnel junction (TJ), and a diffused silicon junction formed during the epitaxial growth of GaNP on the silicon substrate. To accomplish this, we have developed techniques for the growth of high crystalline quality lattice-matched GaNPAs on silicon by metal-organic vapor-phase epitaxy.

  18. Silicon materials task of the Low Cost Solar Array Project: Effect of impurities and processing on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rohatgi, A.; Hanes, M. H.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.

    1982-01-01

    The effects of impurities and processing on the characteristics of silicon and terrestrial silicon solar cells were defined in order to develop cost benefit relationships for the use of cheaper, less pure solar grades of silicon. The amount of concentrations of commonly encountered impurities that can be tolerated in typical p or n base solar cells was established, then a preliminary analytical model from which the cell performance could be projected depending on the kinds and amounts of contaminants in the silicon base material was developed. The impurity data base was expanded to include construction materials, and the impurity performace model was refined to account for additional effects such as base resistivity, grain boundary interactions, thermal processing, synergic behavior, and nonuniform impurity distributions. A preliminary assessment of long term (aging) behavior of impurities was also undertaken.

  19. Silicon solar cells: Past, present and the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Youn-Jung; Kim, Byung-Sung; Ifitiquar, S. M.; Park, Cheolmin; Yi, Junsin

    2014-08-01

    There has been a great demand for renewable energy for the last few years. However, the solar cell industry is currently experiencing a temporary plateau due to a sluggish economy and an oversupply of low-quality cells. The current situation can be overcome by reducing the production cost and by improving the cell is conversion efficiency. New materials such as compound semiconductor thin films have been explored to reduce the fabrication cost, and structural changes have been explored to improve the cell's efficiency. Although a record efficiency of 24.7% is held by a PERL — structured silicon solar cell and 13.44% has been realized using a thin silicon film, the mass production of these cells is still too expensive. Crystalline and amorphous silicon — based solar cells have led the solar industry and have occupied more than half of the market so far. They will remain so in the future photovoltaic (PV) market by playing a pivotal role in the solar industry. In this paper, we discuss two primary approaches that may boost the silicon — based solar cell market; one is a high efficiency approach and the other is a low cost approach. We also discuss the future prospects of various solar cells.

  20. Flat-plate solar array project. Volume 2: Silicon material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutwack, R.

    1986-01-01

    The goal of the Silicon Material Task, a part of the Flat Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project, was to develop and demonstate the technology for the low cost production of silicon of suitable purity to be used as the basic material for the manufacture of terrestrial photovoltaic solar cells. Summarized are 11 different processes for the production of silicon that were investigated and developed to varying extent by industrial, university, and Government researchers. The silane production section of the Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) silane process was developed completely in this program. Coupled with Siemens-type chemical vapor deposition reactors, the process was carried through the pilot stage. The overall UCC process involves the conversion of metallurgical-grade silicon to silane followed by decomposition of the silane to purified silicon. The other process developments are described to varying extents. Studies are reported on the effects of impurities in silicon on both silicon-material properties and on solar cell performance. These studies on the effects of impurities yielded extensive information and models for relating specific elemental concentrations to levels of deleterious effects.

  1. Combined Silicon and Gallium Arsenide Solar Cell UV Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willowby, Douglas

    2005-01-01

    The near and long-term effect of UV on silicon solar cells is relatively understood. In an effort to learn more about the effects of UV radiation on the performance of GaAs/Ge solar cells, silicon and gallium arsenide on germanium (GaAs/Ge) solar cells were placed in a vacuum chamber and irradiated with ultraviolet light by a Spectrolab XT 10 solar simulator. Seventeen GaAs/Ge and 8 silicon solar cells were mounted on an 8 inch copper block. By having all the cells on the same test plate we were able to do direct comparison of silicon and GaAs/Ge solar cell degradation. The test article was attached to a cold plate in the vacuum chamber to maintain the cells at 25 degrees Celsius. A silicon solar cell standard was used to measure beam uniformity and any degradation of the ST-10 beam. The solar cell coverings tested included cells with AR-0213 coverglass, fused silica coverglass, BRR-0213 coverglass and cells without coverglass. Of interest in the test is the BRR-0213 coverglass material manufactured by OCLI. It has an added Infrared rejection coating to help reduce the solar cell operating temperature. This coverglass is relatively new and of interest to several current and future programs at Marshall. Due to moves of the laboratory equipment and location only 350 hours of UV degradation have been completed. During this testing a significant leveling off in the rate of degradation was reached. Data from the test and comparisons of the UV effect of the bare cells and cells with coverglass material will be presented.

  2. Silicon space solar cells: progression and radiation-resistance analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehman, Atteq ur; Lee, Sang Hee; Lee, Soo Hong

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, an overview of the solar cell technology based on silicon for applications in space is presented. First, the space environment and its effects on the basis of satellite orbits, such as geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO), are described. The space solar cell technology based on silicon-based materials, including thin-film silicon solar cells, for use in space was appraised. The evolution of the design for silicon solar cell for use in space, such as a backsurface field (BSF), selective doping, and both-side passivation, etc., is illustrated. This paper also describes the nature of radiation-induced defects and the models proposed for understanding the output power degradation in silicon space solar cells. The phenomenon of an anomalous increase in the short-circuit current ( I sc) in the fluence irradiation range from 2 × 1016 cm-2 to 5 × 1016 cm-2 is also described explicitly from the view point of the various presented models.

  3. Semiconductor Grade, Solar Silicon Purification Project. [photovoltaic solar energy conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Rosler, R. S.; Thompson, S. W.; Chaney, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    A low cost by-product, SiF4, is reacted with mg silicon to form SiF2 gas which is polymerized. The (SiF2)x polymer is heated forming volatile SixFy homologues which disproportionate on a silicon particle bed forming silicon and SiF4. The silicon analysis procedure relied heavily on mass spectroscopic and emission spectroscopic analysis. These analyses demonstrated that major purification had occured and some samples were indistinguishable from semiconductor grade silicon (except possibly for phosphorus). However, electrical analysis via crystal growth reveal that the product contains compensated phosphorus and boron.

  4. A new directional solidification technique for polycrystalline solar grade silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, T.; Shimura, A.; Ichikawa, S.

    A new directional solidification (casting) technique using powder mold releasing agent is described for producing polycrystalline solar grade silicon. Crack-free and stress-free growth of silicon was attainable with fused quartz crucibles coated with nitride powder, such as silicon nitride Si3 N4, on the inner crucible walls. The degree of nitrogen contamination was negligible because of the low nitrogen solubility in solid silicon. Other impurities contents were less than the ppm level. The average grain diameter was close to 0.1 cm. Diffused junction solar cells (n+/p structure) were fabricated by using this boron doped 1 ohm-cm material. An AM1 conversion efficiency of 12.4% on the cells of 20 cm sq area was obtained. The minority carrier diffusion length of this material was estimated to be greater than 80 microns.

  5. Develop Silicone Encapsulation Systems for Terrestrial Silicon Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    This work resulted in two basic accomplishments.The first was the identification of DOW CORNING Q1-2577 as a suitable encapsulation material for use in a cost effective encapsulation system. The second was the preparation of a silicon-acrylic cover material containing a durable ultraviolet screening agent for the protection of photo-oxidatively sensitive polymers.

  6. Characterization of solar-grade silicon produced by the SiF4-Na process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanjurjo, A.; Sancier, K. M.; Emerson, R. M.; Leach, S. C.; Minahan, J.

    1986-01-01

    A process was developed for producing low cost solar grade silicon by the reaction between SiF4 gas and sodium metal. The results of the characterization of the silicon are presented. These results include impurity levels, electronic properties of the silicon after crystal growth, and the performance of solar photovoltaic cells fabricated from wafers of the single crystals. The efficiency of the solar cells fabricated from semiconductor silicon and SiF4-Na silicon was the same.

  7. Amorphous silicon enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor contacts for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, J.; Cuevas, A.; Yan, D.; Demaurex, B.; Hessler-Wyser, A.; De Wolf, S.

    2014-10-01

    Carrier recombination at the metal-semiconductor contacts has become a significant obstacle to the further advancement of high-efficiency diffused-junction silicon solar cells. This paper provides the proof-of-concept of a procedure to reduce contact recombination by means of enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structures. Lightly diffused n+ and p+ surfaces are passivated with SiO2/a-Si:H and Al2O3/a-Si:H stacks, respectively, before the MIS contacts are formed by a thermally activated alloying process between the a-Si:H layer and an overlying aluminum film. Transmission/scanning transmission electron microscopy (TEM/STEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy are used to ascertain the nature of the alloy. Idealized solar cell simulations reveal that MIS(n+) contacts, with SiO2 thicknesses of ˜1.55 nm, achieve the best carrier-selectivity producing a contact resistivity ρc of ˜3 mΩ cm2 and a recombination current density J0c of ˜40 fA/cm2. These characteristics are shown to be stable at temperatures up to 350 °C. The MIS(p+) contacts fail to achieve equivalent results both in terms of thermal stability and contact characteristics but may still offer advantages over directly metallized contacts in terms of manufacturing simplicity.

  8. Bulk solar grade silicon: how chemistry and physics play to get a benevolent microstructured material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizzini, S.

    2009-07-01

    The availability of low-cost alternatives to electronic grade silicon has been and still is the condition for the extensive use of photovoltaics as an efficient sun harvesting system. The first step towards this objective was positively carried out in the 1980s and resulted in the reduction in cost and energy of the growth process using as feedstock electronic grade scraps and a variety of solidification procedures, all of which deliver a multi-crystalline material of high photovoltaic quality. The second step was an intense R&D activity aiming at defining and developing at lab scale a new variety of silicon, called “solar grade” silicon, which should fulfil the requirement of both cost effectiveness and high conversion efficiency. The third step involved and still involves the development of cost-effective technologies for the manufacture of solar grade silicon, in alternative to the classical Siemens route, which relays, as is well-known, to the pyrolitic decomposition of high-purity trichlorosilane and which is, also in its more advanced versions, extremely energy intensive. Aim of this paper is to give the author’s viewpoint about some open questions concerning bulk solar silicon for PV applications and about challenges and chances of novel feedstocks of direct metallurgical origin.

  9. Silicon Web Process Development. [for solar cell fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Hopkins, R. H.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hill, F. E.; Heimlich, M. E.; Driggers, J. M.

    1979-01-01

    Silicon dendritic web, ribbon form of silicon and capable of fabrication into solar cells with greater than 15% AMl conversion efficiency, was produced from the melt without die shaping. Improvements were made both in the width of the web ribbons grown and in the techniques to replenish the liquid silicon as it is transformed to web. Through means of improved thermal shielding stress was reduced sufficiently so that web crystals nearly 4.5 cm wide were grown. The development of two subsystems, a silicon feeder and a melt level sensor, necessary to achieve an operational melt replenishment system, is described. A gas flow management technique is discussed and a laser reflection method to sense and control the melt level as silicon is replenished is examined.

  10. Heavy doping effects in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.

    1985-01-01

    The use of a (silicon)/(heavily doped polysilicon)/(metal) structure to replace the conventional high-low junction (or back-surface-field, BSF) structure of silicon solar cells was examined. The results of an experimental study designed to explore both qualitatively and quantitatively the mechanism of the improved current gain in bipolar transistors with polysilicon emitter contact are presented. A reciprocity theorem is presented that relates the short circuit current of a device, induced by a carrier generation source, to the minority carrier Fermi level in the dark. A method for accurate measurement of minority-carrier diffusion coefficients in silicon is described.

  11. A reusable mold in directional solidification for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, T.; Shimura, A.; Ichikawa, S.

    1983-12-01

    Directional solidification of silicon was achieved by using a SiC coated carbon mold together with Si3N4 powder mold releasing agent. Crack-free polycrystalline silicon ingots were able to be extracted easily out of the mold. The mold was easily able to withstand more than 12 utilizations. Silicon ingot impurity contents were less than 3 ppm and the average polycrystalline grain diameter was 0.8 mm. Solar cells made of this material gave an AM1 maximum conversion of 10.8 deg.

  12. Metal induced crystallization of amorphous silicon for photovoltaic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Gestel, D.; Gordon, I.; Poortmans, J.

    A silicon thin-film technology could lead to less expensive modules by the use of less silicon material and by the implementation of monolithic module processes. A technology based on polycrystalline-silicon thin-films with a grain size between 1 μm and 1 mm (pc-Si), seems particularly promising since it combines the low-cost potential of a thin-film technology with the high efficiency potential of crystalline silicon. One of the possible approaches to fabricate pc-Si absorber layers is metal induced crystallization (MIC). For solar cell applications mainly aluminium is investigated as metal because 1) it forms a eutectic system with silicon instead of a silicide-metal system like e.g. Ni 2) only shallow level defects are formed in the forbidden bandgap of silicon and 3) a layer exchange process can be obtained in combination with a-Si. Aluminum induced crystallization (AIC) of a-Si on non-silicon substrates can results in grains with a preferential (100) orientation and a maximum grain sizes above 50 micrometer. These layers can act as seed layers for further epitaxial growth. Based on this two-step approach (AIC + epitaxial growth) we made solar cells with an energy conversion efficiency of 8%. Based on TEM, EBIC, SEM, defect etch and EBSD measurements we showed that the efficiency is nowadays mainly limited by the presence of electrical intragrain defects.

  13. MIS and SIS solar cells on polycrystalline silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Cheek, G.; Mertens, R.

    1980-02-01

    MIS and SIS structured solar cells are receiving much attention in the photovoltaic community. Seemingly, these cells could be a viable alternative to thermally diffused p-n junctions for use on thin-film polycrystalline silicon substrates. This review describes MIS/SIS structured solar cells and the possible advantages of these structures for use with thin-film polycrystalline silicon. The results of efficiency calculations are presented. Also addressed are lifetime stability and fabrication techniques amenable to large scale production. Finally, the relative advantages and disadvantages of these cells and the results obtained are presented.

  14. Damage coefficients in low resistivity silicon. [solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srour, J. R.; Othmer, S.; Chiu, K. Y.; Curtis, O. L., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    Electron and proton damage coefficients are determined for low resistivity silicon based on minority-carrier lifetime measurements on bulk material and diffusion length measurements on solar cells. Irradiations were performed on bulk samples and cells fabricated from four types of boron-doped 0.1 ohm-cm silicon ingots, including the four possible combinations of high and low oxygen content and high and low dislocation density. Measurements were also made on higher resistivity boron-doped bulk samples and solar cells. Major observations and conclusions from the investigation are discussed.

  15. Developmental experiments on large-area silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silard, Andrei P.; Nani, Gabriel

    1989-05-01

    Practical ways of attenuating the severe limitations imposed by areal inhomogeneities on the performance of large-area solar cells fabricated on both p- and n-silicon wafers are described, and the results of tests are presented. The p(+)-n-n(+) and n(+)-p-p(+) cells were processed as bifacial devices and tested under both frontside and backside AM1 illumination. It is shown that the combination of a simple design and some of the technological approaches evaluated in this study result in low-cost high-efficiency large-area bifacial silicon solar cells that exhibit with good electrooptical performance.

  16. Optical absorption of several nanostructures arrays for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhaopeng; Qiao, Huiling; Huangfu, Huichao; Li, Xiaowei; Guo, Jingwei; Wang, Haiyan

    2015-12-01

    To improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar cells, it's important to enhance the light absorption. Within the visible solar spectrum based on optimization simulations by COMSOL Multiphysics, the optical absorption of silicon cylindrical nanowires, nanocones and inverted nanocones was calculated respectively. The results reveal that the average absorption for the nanocones between 400 and 800 nm is 70.2%, which is better than cylindrical nanowires (55.3%), inverted nanocones (42.3%) and bulk silicon (42.2%). In addition, more than 95% of light from 630 to 800 nm is reflected for inverted nanocones, which can be used to enhance infrared reflection in photovoltaic devices.

  17. Silicon-on-ceramic process: Silicon sheet growth and device development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitehead, A. B.; Zook, J. D.; Grung, B. L.; Heaps, J. D.; Schmit, F.; Schuldt, S. B.; Chapman, P. W.

    1981-01-01

    The technical feasibility of producing solar cell quality sheet silicon to meet the DOE 1986 cost goal of 70 cents/watt was investigated. The silicon on ceramic approach is to coat a low cost ceramic substrate with large grain polycrystalline silicon by unidirectional solidification of molten silicon. Results and accomplishments are summarized.

  18. A 2-terminal perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell enabled by a silicon tunnel junction

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mailoa, Jonathan P.; Bailie, Colin D.; Johlin, Eric C.; Hoke, Eric T.; Akey, Austin J.; Nguyen, William H.; McGehee, Michael D.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2015-03-24

    With the advent of efficient high-bandgap metal-halide perovskite photovoltaics, an opportunity exists to make perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. We fabricate a monolithic tandem by developing a silicon-based interband tunnel junction that facilitates majority-carrier charge recombination between the perovskite and silicon sub-cells. We demonstrate a 1 cm2 2-terminal monolithic perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell with a VOC as high as 1.65 V. As a result, we achieve a stable 13.7% power conversion efficiency with the perovskite as the current-limiting sub-cell, and identify key challenges for this device architecture to reach efficiencies over 25%.

  19. Improving efficiency of silicon heterojunction solar cells by surface texturing of silicon wafers using tetramethylammonium hydroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liguo; Wang, Fengyou; Zhang, Xiaodan; Wang, Ning; Jiang, Yuanjian; Hao, Qiuyan; Zhao, Ying

    2014-12-01

    Texturing of silicon surfaces is an effective method for improving the efficiency of silicon solar cells. Etching by using tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) is more attractive than other texturing processes because TMAH is non-toxic, and high-quality anisotropic features can be realized without any metal ion contaminants. In this study, TMAH texturing conditions are varied to optimize the surface morphology of silicon wafers. Excellent optical properties are obtained. This is because of the formation of pyramidal structures with different random sizes but uniform shapes; in fact, when the optimal etching conditions (2% TMAH, 10% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) at 80 °C) are used, the reflectance is only 10.7%. In comparison with NaOH texturing, the TMAH process described here yields smaller pyramids with smoother (111) facets, leading to improved performance in silicon heterojunction solar cells, with a conversion efficiency of 17.8%.

  20. A 2-terminal perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell enabled by a silicon tunnel junction

    SciTech Connect

    Mailoa, Jonathan P.; Bailie, Colin D.; Johlin, Eric C.; Hoke, Eric T.; Akey, Austin J.; Nguyen, William H.; McGehee, Michael D.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2015-03-24

    With the advent of efficient high-bandgap metal-halide perovskite photovoltaics, an opportunity exists to make perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. We fabricate a monolithic tandem by developing a silicon-based interband tunnel junction that facilitates majority-carrier charge recombination between the perovskite and silicon sub-cells. We demonstrate a 1 cm2 2-terminal monolithic perovskite/silicon multijunction solar cell with a VOC as high as 1.65 V. As a result, we achieve a stable 13.7% power conversion efficiency with the perovskite as the current-limiting sub-cell, and identify key challenges for this device architecture to reach efficiencies over 25%.

  1. Semiconductor grade, solar silicon purification project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Thompson, S.; Rosler, D.; Jackson, J.

    1977-01-01

    The conversion of metallurgical grade silicon into semiconductor grade silicon by way of a three step SiF2 polymer transport purification process was investigated. Developments in the following areas were also examined: (1) spectroscopic analysis and characterization of (SiF2) sub x polymer and Si sub x F sub y homologue conversion; (2) demonstration runs on the near continuous apparatus; (3) economic analysis; and (4) elemental analysis.

  2. Advanced solar energy research program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nozik, A. J.

    1981-10-01

    Photobiology, photochemical conversion and storage, photoelectrochemistry, and materials research are reported. Three areas of photobiological research under investigation are discussed: in vitro energy conversion, microbiological hydrogen production, and algal hydrocarbon production. Sensitizers for solar photochemistry, redox catalysis, coupled systems, and inorganic photochemistry are reviewed. Theory and modeling of the energetics of semiconductor/electrolyte junctions and the effects of inversion are reported as well as new semiconductor electrode materials and work on photoelectrodialysis. The mechanisms affecting materials performance in solar energy conversion systems and development of new materials that improve system efficiency, reliability and economics are reported.

  3. Inexpensive transparent nanoelectrode for crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Qiang; Pei, Ke; Han, Bing; Li, Ruopeng; Zhou, Guofu; Liu, Jun-Ming; Kempa, Krzysztof; Gao, Jinwei

    2016-06-01

    We report an easily manufacturable and inexpensive transparent conductive electrode for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. It is based on a silver nanoparticle network self-forming in the valleys between the pyramids of a textured solar cell surface, transformed into a nanowire network by sintering, and subsequently "buried" under the silicon surface by a metal-assisted chemical etching. We have successfully incorporated these steps into the conventional c-Si solar cell manufacturing process, from which we have eliminated the expensive screen printing and firing steps, typically used to make the macro-electrode of conducting silver fingers. The resulting, preliminary solar cell achieved power conversion efficiency only 14 % less than the conventionally processed c-Si control cell. We expect that a cell with an optimized processing will achieve at least efficiency of the conventional commercial cell, but at significantly reduced manufacturing cost.

  4. Inexpensive transparent nanoelectrode for crystalline silicon solar cells.

    PubMed

    Peng, Qiang; Pei, Ke; Han, Bing; Li, Ruopeng; Zhou, Guofu; Liu, Jun-Ming; Kempa, Krzysztof; Gao, Jinwei

    2016-12-01

    We report an easily manufacturable and inexpensive transparent conductive electrode for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. It is based on a silver nanoparticle network self-forming in the valleys between the pyramids of a textured solar cell surface, transformed into a nanowire network by sintering, and subsequently "buried" under the silicon surface by a metal-assisted chemical etching. We have successfully incorporated these steps into the conventional c-Si solar cell manufacturing process, from which we have eliminated the expensive screen printing and firing steps, typically used to make the macro-electrode of conducting silver fingers. The resulting, preliminary solar cell achieved power conversion efficiency only 14 % less than the conventionally processed c-Si control cell. We expect that a cell with an optimized processing will achieve at least efficiency of the conventional commercial cell, but at significantly reduced manufacturing cost. PMID:27356559

  5. Crystalline silicon solar cells with micro/nano texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrov, Dimitre Z.; Du, Chen-Hsun

    2013-02-01

    Crystalline silicon solar cells with two-scale texture consisting of random upright pyramids and surface nanotextured layer directly onto the pyramids are prepared and reflectance properties and I-V characteristics measured. Random pyramids texture is produced by etching in an alkaline solution. On top of the pyramids texture, a nanotexture is developed using an electroless oxidation/etching process. Solar cells with two-scale surface texturization are prepared following the standard screen-printing technology sequence. The micro/nano surface is found to lower considerably the light reflectance of silicon. The short wavelengths spectral response (blue response) improvement is observed in micro/nano textured solar cells compared to standard upright pyramids textured cells. An efficiency of 17.5% is measured for the best micro/nano textured c-Si solar cell. The efficiency improvement is found to be due to the gain in both Jsc and Voc.

  6. Developments toward an 18% efficient silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meulenberg, A., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Limitations to increased open-circuit voltage were identified and experimentally verified for 0.1 ohm-cm solar cells with heavily doped emitters. After major reduction in the dark current contribution from the metal-silicon interface of the grid contacts, the surface recombination velocity of the oxide-silicon interface of shallow junction solar cells is the limiting factor. In deep junction solar cells, where the junction field does not aid surface collection, the emitter bulk is the limiting factor. Singly-diffused, shallow junction cells have been fabricated with open circuit voltages in excess of 645 mV. Double-diffusion shallow and deep junctions cells have displayed voltages above 650 mV. MIS solar cells formed on 0.1 ohm-cm substrates have exibited the lowest dark currents produced in the course of the contract work.

  7. Silicon material task. Part 3: Low-cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roques, R. A.; Coldwell, D. M.

    1977-01-01

    The feasibility of a process for carbon reduction of low impurity silica in a plasma heat source was investigated to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon. Theoretical aspects of the reaction chemistry were studied with the aid of a computer program using iterative free energy minimization. These calculations indicate a threshold temperature exists at 2400 K below which no silicon is formed. The computer simulation technique of molecular dynamics was used to study the quenching of product species.

  8. Novel duplex vapor-electrochemical method for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nanis, L.; Sanjurjo, A.; Sancier, K. M.; Kapur, V. K.; Bartlett, R. W.; Westphal, S.

    1980-01-01

    A process was developed for the economic production of high purity Si from inexpensive reactants, based on the Na reduction of SiF4 gas. The products of reaction (NaF, Si) are separated by either aqueous leaching or by direct melting of the NaF-Si product mixture. Impurities known to degrade solar cell performance are all present at sufficiently low concentrations so that melt solidification (e.g., Czochralski) will provide a silicon material suitable for solar cells.

  9. Silicon as an advanced window material for high power gyrotrons

    SciTech Connect

    Parshin, V.V.; Andreev, B.A.; Gusev, A.V.

    1995-05-01

    The absorptivity of high-purity grades of silicon (Si) and its reduction by subsequent doping procedures are investigated. The dielectric data are given for the wide range of frequencies (30 -330 GHz) and temperatures (30 -330 K) in comparison with the data set for sapphire. The advanced material performance in high power window applications is discussed taking into account both dielectric properties of the optimized silicon grades and thermal conductivity.

  10. Advanced solar concentrator: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The preliminary design of a point-focusing solar concentrator, consisting of a steerable space frame structure supporting a paraboloidal mirror glass reflector, is described. A mass production, operation, and maintenance cost assessment is presented. A conceptual evaluation of a modified concentrator design is included. The detailed design of one of the lightweight, structurally efficient reflective elements comprising the paraboloidal reflective surface is given.

  11. Silicon on ceramic process. Silicon sheet growth development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zook, J. D.; Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Koepke, B. G.; Butter, C. D.; Schuldt, S. B.

    1977-01-01

    The technical and economic feasibility of producing solar-cell-quality sheet silicon was investigated. The sheets were made by coating one surface of carbonized ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large-grain polycrystalline silicon from the melt. Significant progress was made in all areas of the program.

  12. Porous silicon advances in drug delivery and immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Savage, D; Liu, X; Curley, S; Ferrari, M; Serda, RE

    2013-01-01

    Biomedical applications of porous silicon include drug delivery, imaging, diagnostics and immunotherapy. This review summarizes new silicon particle fabrication techniques, dynamics of cellular transport, advances in the multistage vector approach to drug delivery, and the use of porous silicon as immune adjuvants. Recent findings support superior therapeutic efficacy of the multistage vector approach over single particle drug delivery systems in mouse models of ovarian and breast cancer. With respect to vaccine development, multivalent presentation of pathogen-associated molecular patterns on the particle surface creates powerful platforms for immunotherapy, with the porous matrix able to carry both antigens and immune modulators. PMID:23845260

  13. The effects of copper and titanium on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, A. M.

    1978-01-01

    Copper-doped N/P silicon solar cells fabricated from the Czochralski grown single-crystal wafers were found to have good electrical characteristics, but the titanium-doped N/P silicon solar cells has considerably lower conversion efficiency. However, in the copper/titanium-doped solar cells, copper seems to mitigate the unfavorable effects of titanium. To explain this behavior, microstructural tests were performed on silicon wafers and solar cells doped with copper, titanium and copper/titanium. Dark forward and reverse I-V measurements were performed on the solar cells to correlate the microstructural defects with the p-n junction properties. It was found that copper precipitates were formed in the copper-doped and copper/titanium-doped wafers and cells. There was a significant voltage drop in the dark reverse I-V measurements of the titanium solar cells. Also, there were some electronically active defects in the depletion region of some titanium-doped cells. Reasons that lead to the above results are given in detail.

  14. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    The standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the cast silicon heatexchanger method) showed a maximum AMO efficiency of 10.1%. Cells from low resistivity material (0.5 ohm-cm) showed lower performance than those of the high resistivity cast silicon (3 ohm-cm), an average efficiency 9.5% versus 7.6% Maximum AMO efficiency of the standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the EFG (RH) ribbons was about 7.5%. The solar cells from controlled SiC, using the displaced die, showed more consistent and better performance than those of the uncontrolled SiC ribbons, an average efficiency of 6.6% versus 5.4% The average AMO efficiency of the standard silicon ceramic (soc) solar calls were about 6%. These were large area solar cells (an average area of 15 sq cm). A maximum efficiency of 7.3% was obtained. The SOC solar cells showed both leakage and series resistance problems, leading to an average curve fill factor of about 60%.

  15. Towards ultra-thin plasmonic silicon wafer solar cells with minimized efficiency loss

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yinan; Stokes, Nicholas; Jia, Baohua; Fan, Shanhui; Gu, Min

    2014-01-01

    The cost-effectiveness of market-dominating silicon wafer solar cells plays a key role in determining the competiveness of solar energy with other exhaustible energy sources. Reducing the silicon wafer thickness at a minimized efficiency loss represents a mainstream trend in increasing the cost-effectiveness of wafer-based solar cells. In this paper we demonstrate that, using the advanced light trapping strategy with a properly designed nanoparticle architecture, the wafer thickness can be dramatically reduced to only around 1/10 of the current thickness (180 μm) without any solar cell efficiency loss at 18.2%. Nanoparticle integrated ultra-thin solar cells with only 3% of the current wafer thickness can potentially achieve 15.3% efficiency combining the absorption enhancement with the benefit of thinner wafer induced open circuit voltage increase. This represents a 97% material saving with only 15% relative efficiency loss. These results demonstrate the feasibility and prospect of achieving high-efficiency ultra-thin silicon wafer cells with plasmonic light trapping. PMID:24820403

  16. Latest developments in the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Kurland, Richard M.

    1990-01-01

    In 1985, the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array (APSA) Program was established to demonstrate a producible array system with a specific power greater than 130 W/kg at a 10-kW (BOL) power level. The latest program phase completed fabrication and initial functional testing of a prototype wing representative of a full-scale 5-kW (BOL) wing (except truncated in length to about 1 kW), with weight characteristics that could meet the 130-W/kg (BOL) specific power goal using thin silicon solar cell modules and weight-efficient structural components. The wing configuration and key design details are reviewed, along with results from key component-level and wing-level tests. Projections for future enhancements that may be expected through the use of advanced solar cells and structural components are shown. Performance estimates are given for solar electric propulsion orbital transfer missions through the Van Allen radiation belts. The latest APSA program plans are presented.

  17. Silicon solar cell using optimized intermediate reflector layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalifa, Ahmed E.; Swillam, Mohamed A.

    2016-03-01

    Thin film silicon based photovoltaic cells have the advantages of using low cost nontoxic abundant constituents and low thermal manufacturing budget. However, better long-term efficiencies need to be achieved overcoming its inherent bad electrical properties of amorphous and/or microcrystalline Silicon. For the goal of achieving best results, multijunction cells of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin layers are industrially and lab utilized in addition to using one or more light management techniques such as textured layers, periodic and plasmonic back reflectors, flattened reflective substrates and intermediate reflector layer (IRL) between multijunction cells. The latter, IRL, which is the focus of this paper, serves as spectrally selective layer between different cells of the multijunction silicon thin film solar cell. IRL, reflects to the top cell short wavelength while permitting and scattering longer ones to achieve the best possible short circuit current. In this study, a new optimized periodic design of Intermediate reflector layer in micromorph (two multijunction cells of Microcrystalline and Amorphous Silicon) thin film solar cells is proposed. The optically simulated short circuit current reaches record values for same thickness designs when using all-ZnO design and even better results is anticipated if Lacquer material is used in combination with ZnO. The design methodology used in the paper can be easily applied to different types of IRL materials and also extended to triple and the relatively newly proposed quadruple thin films solar cells.

  18. Efficient silicon solar cells with dopant-free asymmetric heterocontacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, James; Hettick, Mark; Geissbühler, Jonas; Ong, Alison J.; Allen, Thomas; Sutter-Fella, Carolin M.; Chen, Teresa; Ota, Hiroki; Schaler, Ethan W.; de Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe; Cuevas, Andrés; Javey, Ali

    2016-03-01

    A salient characteristic of solar cells is their ability to subject photo-generated electrons and holes to pathways of asymmetrical conductivity—‘assisting’ them towards their respective contacts. All commercially available crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells achieve this by making use of doping in either near-surface regions or overlying silicon-based films. Despite being commonplace, this approach is hindered by several optoelectronic losses and technological limitations specific to doped silicon. A progressive approach to circumvent these issues involves the replacement of doped-silicon contacts with alternative materials which can also form ‘carrier-selective’ interfaces on c-Si. Here we successfully develop and implement dopant-free electron and hole carrier-selective heterocontacts using alkali metal fluorides and metal oxides, respectively, in combination with passivating intrinsic amorphous silicon interlayers, resulting in power conversion efficiencies approaching 20%. Furthermore, the simplified architectures inherent to this approach allow cell fabrication in only seven low-temperature (≤200 ∘C), lithography-free steps. This is a marked improvement on conventional doped-silicon high-efficiency processes, and highlights potential improvements on both sides of the cost-to-performance ratio for c-Si photovoltaics.

  19. A metallurgical route to solar-grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schei, A.

    1986-01-01

    The aim of the process is to produce silicon for crystallization into ingots that can be sliced to wafers for processing into photovoltaic cells. If the potential purity can be realized, the silicon will also be applicable for ribbon pulling techniques where the purification during crystallization is negligible. The process consists of several steps: selection and purification of raw materials, carbothermic reduction of silica, ladle treatment, casting, crushing, leaching, and melting. The leaching step is crucial for high purity, and the obtainable purity is determined by the solidification before leaching. The most difficult specifications to fulfill are the low contents of boron, phosphorus, and carbon. Boron and phosphorus can be excluded from the raw materials, but the carbothermic reduction will unavoidably saturate the silicon with carbon at high temperature. During cooling carbon will precipitate as silicon carbide crystals, which will be harmful in solar cells. The cost of this solar silicon will depend strongly on the scale of production. It is as yet premature to give exact figures, but with a scale of some thousand tons per year, the cost will only be a few times the cost of ordinary metallurgical silicon.

  20. The investigation of optimal Silicon/Silicon(1-x)Germanium(x) thin-film solar cells with quantitative analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehsan, Md Amimul

    Thin-film solar cells are emerging from the research laboratory to become commercially available devices for low cost electrical power generation applications. Silicon which is a cheap, abundant and non-toxic elemental semiconductor is an attractive candidate for these solar cells. Advanced modeling and simulation of Si thin-film solar cells has been performed to make this technology more cost effective without compromising the performance and efficiency. In this study, we focus on the design and optimization of Si/Si1-xGex heterostructures, and microcrystalline and nanocrystalline Si thin-film solar cells. Layer by layer optimization of these structures was performed by using advanced bandgap engineering followed by numerical analysis for their structural, electrical and optical characterizations. Special care has been introduced for the selection of material layers which can help to improve the light absorption properties of these structures for harvesting the solar spectrum. Various strategies such as the optimization of the doping concentrations, Ge contents in Si1-xGex buffer layer, incorporation of the absorber layers and surface texturing have been in used to improve overall conversion efficiencies of the solar cells. To be more specific, the observed improvement in the conversion efficiency of these solar cells has been calculated by tailoring the thickness of the buffer, absorber, and emitter layers. In brief, an approach relying on the phenomena of improved absorption of the buffer and absorber layer which leads to a corresponding gain in the open circuit voltage and short circuit current is explored. For numerical analysis, a PC1D simulator is employed that uses finite element analysis technique for solving semiconductor transport equations. A comparative study of the Si/Si1-xGex and Ge/Si1-xGex is also performed. We found that due to the higher lattice mismatch of Ge to Si, thin-film solar cells based on Si/Si1-xGex heterostructures performed much

  1. Study on epitaxial silicon thin film solar cells on low cost silicon ribbon substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Bin; Shen, Hui; Ban, Qun; Liang, Zongcun; Li, Xudong; Xu, Ying; Liao, Xianbo

    2005-03-01

    Heavily B-doped silicon ribbons were prepared by modified silicon sheets from powder (SSP) technique using 9 N purity electronic-grade silicon powder. Utilizing the SSP ribbons as substrates, crystalline silicon thin film (CSiTF) solar cells have been fabricated by direct epitaxy method. As-prepared CSiTF solar cells were characterized by illuminated and dark I- V characteristic measurement, Suns- Voc measurement, quantum efficiency (QE) and reflectance measurement. The results show that the CSiTF solar cells have poor performance with typical efficiency η only about 4.25%, and nearly all the characteristic parameters are far away from the ideal values. By detailed analysis and discussion on the measured results, it was found that grain boundary (GB) recombination in the active layers and electrical leakage at the edge of the PN junctions play a major role in deteriorating the performance of the CSiTF solar cells, which lead to higher dark saturation current Is and lower parallel resistance Rsh, respectively. By improving the preparation process, such as optimization of the epitaxy process, use of remote plasma hydrogen passivation (RPHP), optimization of the metallization and use of double layer anti-reflection (DLAR) coatings, etc., all the characteristic parameters of the CSiTF solar cells have been greatly improved, and the best efficiency value increased to 8.02%.

  2. NREL Success Stories - Quest for Inexpensive Silicon Solar Cells

    ScienceCinema

    Branz, Howard

    2013-05-29

    Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) share their story about a successful partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Ampulse Corporation and how support from the US Department of Energy's Technology Commercialization & Deployment Fund has helped it and their silicon solar cell research thrive.

  3. Low energy production processes in manufacturing of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, A. R.

    1976-01-01

    Ion implantation and pulsed energy techniques are being combined for fabrication of silicon solar cells totally under vacuum and at room temperature. Simplified sequences allow very short processing times with small process energy consumption. Economic projections for fully automated production are excellent.

  4. Development of high efficiency solar cells on silicon web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.; Meier, D. L.; Campbell, R. B.; Schmidt, D. N.; Rai-Choudhury, P.

    1984-01-01

    Web base material is being improved with a goal toward obtaining solar cell efficiencies in excess of 18% (AM1). Carrier loss mechanisms in web silicon was investigated, techniques were developed to reduce carrier recombination in the web, and web cells were fabricated using effective surface passivation. The effect of stress on web cell performance was also investigated.

  5. Silicon solar cell monitors high temperature furnace operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zellner, G. J.

    1968-01-01

    Silicon solar cell, attached to each viewpoint, monitors that incandescent emission from the hot interior of a furnace without interfering with the test assembly or optical pyrometry during the test. This technique can provide continuous indication of hot spots or provide warning of excessive temperatures in cooler regions.

  6. Energy requirement for the production of silicon solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.; Wihl, M.; Scheinine, A.; Morrison, A.

    1977-01-01

    An assessment of potential changes and alternative technologies which could impact the photovoltaic manufacturing process is presented. Topics discussed include: a multiple wire saw, ribbon growth techniques, silicon casting, and a computer model for a large-scale solar power plant. Emphasis is placed on reducing the energy demands of the manufacturing process.

  7. NREL Success Stories - Quest for Inexpensive Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Branz, Howard

    2010-01-01

    Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) share their story about a successful partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Ampulse Corporation and how support from the US Department of Energy's Technology Commercialization & Deployment Fund has helped it and their silicon solar cell research thrive.

  8. Modelling and fabrication of high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Rohatgi, A.; Smith, A.W.; Salami, J.

    1991-10-01

    This report covers the research conducted on modelling and development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells during the period May 1989 to August 1990. First, considerable effort was devoted toward developing a ray-tracing program for the photovoltaic community to quantify and optimize surface texturing for solar cells. Second, attempts were made to develop a hydrodynamic model for device simulation. Such a model is somewhat slower than drift-diffusion type models like PC-1D, but it can account for more physical phenomena in the device, such as hot carrier effects, temperature gradients, thermal diffusion, and lattice heat flow. In addition, Fermi-Dirac statistics have been incorporated into the model to deal with heavy doping effects more accurately. Third and final component of the research includes development of silicon cell fabrication capabilities and fabrication of high-efficiency silicon cells. 84 refs., 46 figs., 10 tabs.

  9. Solar breeder: Energy payback time for silicon photovoltaic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1977-01-01

    The energy expenditures of the prevailing manufacturing technology of terrestrial photovoltaic cells and panels were evaluated, including silicon reduction, silicon refinement, crystal growth, cell processing and panel building. Energy expenditures include direct energy, indirect energy, and energy in the form of equipment and overhead expenses. Payback times were development using a conventional solar cell as a test vehicle which allows for the comparison of its energy generating capability with the energies expended during the production process. It was found that the energy payback time for a typical solar panel produced by the prevailing technology is 6.4 years. Furthermore, this value drops to 3.8 years under more favorable conditions. Moreover, since the major energy use reductions in terrestrial manufacturing have occurred in cell processing, this payback time directly illustrates the areas where major future energy reductions can be made -- silicon refinement, crystal growth, and panel building.

  10. Radiation tolerance of boron doped dendritic web silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohatgi, A.

    1980-01-01

    The potential of dendritic web silicon for giving radiation hard solar cells is compared with the float zone silicon material. Solar cells with n(+)-p-P(+) structure and approximately 15% (AMl) efficiency were subjected to 1 MeV electron irradiation. Radiation tolerance of web cell efficiency was found to be at least as good as that of the float zone silicon cell. A study of the annealing behavior of radiation-induced defects via deep level transient spectroscopy revealed that E sub v + 0.31 eV defect, attributed to boron-oxygen-vacancy complex, is responsible for the reverse annealing of the irradiated cells in the temperature range of 150 to 350 C.

  11. Diffusion lengths of silicon solar cells from luminescence images

    SciTech Connect

    Wuerfel, P.; Trupke, T.; Puzzer, T.; Schaeffer, E.; Warta, W.; Glunz, S. W.

    2007-06-15

    A method for spatially resolved measurement of the minority carrier diffusion length in silicon wafers and in silicon solar cells is introduced. The method, which is based on measuring the ratio of two luminescence images taken with two different spectral filters, is applicable, in principle, to both photoluminescence and electroluminescence measurements and is demonstrated experimentally by electroluminescence measurements on a multicrystalline silicon solar cell. Good agreement is observed with the diffusion length distribution obtained from a spectrally resolved light beam induced current map. In contrast to the determination of diffusion lengths from one single luminescence image, the method proposed here gives absolute values of the diffusion length and, in comparison, it is much less sensitive to lateral voltage variations across the cell area as caused by local variations of the series resistance. It is also shown that measuring the ratio of two luminescence images allows distinguishing shunts or surface defects from bulk defects.

  12. Processing technology for high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spitzer, M. B.; Keavney, C. J.

    1985-01-01

    Recent advances in silicon solar cell processing have led to attainment of conversion efficiency approaching 20%. The basic cell design is investigated and features of greatest importance to achievement of 20% efficiency are indicated. Experiments to separately optimize high efficiency design features in test structures are discussed. The integration of these features in a high efficiency cell is examined. Ion implantation has been used to achieve optimal concentrations of emitter dopant and junction depth. The optimization reflects the trade-off between high sheet conductivity, necessary for high fill factor, and heavy doping effects, which must be minimized for high open circuit voltage. A second important aspect of the design experiments is the development of a passivation process to minimize front surface recombination velocity. The manner in which a thin SiO2 layer may be used for this purpose is indicated without increasing reflection losses, if the antireflection coating is properly designed. Details are presented of processing intended to reduce recombination at the contact/Si interface. Data on cell performance (including CZ and ribbon) and analysis of loss mechanisms are also presented.

  13. Semiconductor grade, solar silicon purification project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingle, W. M.; Rosler, R. R.; Thompson, S. W.; Chaney, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    Experimental apparatus and procedures used in the development of a 3-step SiF2(x) polymer transport purification process are described. Both S.S.M.S. and E.S. analysis demonstrated that major purification had occured and some samples were indistinguishable from semiconductor grade silicon (except possibly for phosphorus). Recent electrical analysis via crystal growth reveals that the product contains compensated phosphorus and boron. The low projected product cost and short energy payback time suggest that the economics of this process will result in a cost less than the goal of $10/Kg(1975 dollars). The process appears to be readily scalable to a major silicon purification facility.

  14. Investigation of Backside Textures for Genesis Solar Wind Silicon Collectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, C. P.; Burkett, P. J.; Rodriguez, M. C.; Allton, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Genesis solar wind collectors were comprised of a suite of 15 types of ultrapure materials. The single crystal, pure silicon collectors were fabricated by two methods: float zone (FZ) and Czochralski (CZ). Because of slight differences in bulk purity and surface cleanliness among the fabrication processes and the specific vendor, it is desirable to know which variety of silicon and identity of vendor, so that appropriate reference materials can be used. The Czochralski method results in a bulk composition with slightly higher oxygen, for example. The CZ silicon array wafers that were Genesis-flown were purchased from MEMC Electronics. Most of the Genesis-flown FZ silicon was purchased from Unisil and cleaned by MEMC, although a few FZ wafers were acquired from International Wafer Service (IWS).

  15. Diagnostics of Forward Biased Silicon Solar Cells Using Noise Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macku, R.; Koktavy, P.; Skarvada, P.; Raska, M.; Sadovsky, P.

    2009-04-01

    Our research is above all focused on non-destructive testing of the solar cells. We study a single-crystal silicon solar cells n+p and we don't have serious information about features of a pn junction and impurities distribution. The main point of our study is characterization of the local defects in samples. These defects lead to live-time reduction and degradation of reliability. Flicker noise in forward biased solar cells is subject of this paper. We will discuss our measurement with Kleinpenning approaches for inhomogeneous semiconductors and we suggest the physical nature of the samples behaviour.

  16. Thin n-i-p silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meulenberg, A., Jr.; Allison, J. F.; Arndt, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A space solar cell concept which combines high cell output with low diffusion length damage coefficients is presented for the purpose of reducing solar cell susceptibility to degradation from the radiation environment. High resistivity n-i-p silicon solar cells ranging from upward of 83 micron-cm were exposed to AM0 ultraviolet illumination. It is shown that high resistivity cells act as extrinsic devices under dark conditions and as intrinsic devices under AM0 illumination. Resistive losses in thin n-i-p cells are found to be comparable to those in low resistivity cells. Present voltage limitations appear to be due to generation and recombination in the diffused regions.

  17. Advances and opportunities in the amorphous silicon research field

    SciTech Connect

    Sabisky, E.; Wallace, W.; Mikhall, A.; Mahan, H.; Tsuo, S.

    1984-05-01

    The amorphous materials and thin-film solar cells program was initiated by the US Department of Energy in 1978 and then transferred to the Solar Energy Research Institute. The aim of the present DOE/SERI program is to achieve 5-year DOE research goals by addressing photovoltaic research in single-junction amorphous thin films as well as the most promising option in high-efficiency, multijunction solar cells. Multiyear subcontract awards initiated in 1983 were designed to demonstrate a stable, small-area, p-i-n solar cell of at least 12% (AMI) efficiency, a stable submodule of at least 8% (AMI) efficiency, a stable submodule of at least 8% (AMI) efficiency (total area, 1000 cm/sup 2/), and a proof-of-concept multijunction amorphous silicon alloy thin-film solar cell that will lead to achieving an 18% efficiency goal in 1988.

  18. The NASA Lewis Research Center program in space solar cell research and technology. [efficient silicon solar cell development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Progress in space solar cell research and technology is reported. An 18 percent-AMO-efficient silicon solar cell, reduction in the radiation damage suffered by silicon solar cells in space, and high efficiency wrap-around contact and thin (50 micrometer) coplanar back contact silicon cells are among the topics discussed. Reduction in the cost of silicon cells for space use, cost effective GaAs solar cells, the feasibility of 30 percent AMO solar energy conversion, and reliable encapsulants for space blankets are also considered.

  19. Light Trapping for Silicon Solar Cells: Theory and Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Hui

    Crystalline silicon solar cells have been the mainstream technology for photovoltaic energy conversion since their invention in 1954. Since silicon is an indirect band gap material, its absorption coefficient is low for much of the solar spectrum, and the highest conversion efficiencies are achieved only in cells that are thicker than about 0.1 mm. Light trapping by total internal reflection is important to increase the optical absorption in silicon layers, and becomes increasingly important as the layers are thinned. Light trapping is typically characterized by the enhancement of the absorptance of a solar cell beyond the value for a single pass of the incident beam through an absorbing semiconductor layer. Using an equipartition argument, in 1982 Yablonovitch calculated an enhancement of 4n2 , where n is the refractive index. We have extracted effective light-trapping enhancements from published external quantum efficiency spectra in several dozen silicon solar cells. These results show that this "thermodynamic" enhancement has never been achieved experimentally. The reasons for incomplete light trapping could be poor anti-reflection coating, inefficient light scattering, and parasitic absorption. We report the light-trapping properties of nanocrystalline silicon nip solar cells deposited onto two types of Ag/ZnO backreflectors at United Solar Ovonic, LLC. We prepared the first type by first making silver nanparticles onto a stainless steel substrate, and then overcoating the nanoparticles with a second silver layer. The second type was prepared at United Solar using a continuous silver film. Both types were then overcoated with a ZnO film. The root mean square roughness varied from 27 to 61 nm, and diffuse reflectance at 1000 nm wavelength varied from 0.4 to 0.8. The finished cells have a thin, indium-tin oxide layer on the top that acts as an antireflection coating. For both backreflector types, the short-circuit photocurrent densities J SC for solar

  20. 14th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells& Modules: Materials and Processes; Summary of Discussion Sessions

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.; Tan, T.; Sinton, R.; Swanson, D.

    2004-10-01

    The 14th Workshop discussion sessions addressed funding needs for Si research and for R&D to enhance U.S. PV manufacturing. The wrap-up session specifically addressed topics for the new university silicon program. The theme of the workshop, Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells: Leapfrogging the Barriers, was selected to reflect the astounding progress in Si PV technology during last three decades, despite a host of barriers and bottlenecks. A combination of oral, poster, and discussion sessions addressed recent advances in crystal growth technology, new cell structures and doping methods, silicon feedstock issues, hydrogen passivation and fire through metallization, and module issues/reliability. The following oral/discussion sessions were conducted: (1) Technology Update; (2) Defects and Impurities in Si/Discussion; (3) Rump Session; (4) Module Issues and Reliability/Discussion; (5) Silicon Feedstock/Discussion; (6) Novel Doping, Cells, and Hetero-Structure Designs/Discussion; (7) Metallization/Silicon Nitride Processing/Discussion; (8) Hydrogen Passivation/Discussion; (9) Characterization/Discussion; and (10) Wrap-Up. This year's workshop lasted three and a half days and, for the first time, included a session on Si modules. A rump session was held on the evening of August 8, which addressed efficiency expectations and challenges of c Si solar cells/modules. Richard King of DOE and Daren Dance of Wright Williams& Kelly (formerly of Sematech) spoke at two of the luncheon sessions. Eleven students received Graduate Student Awards from funds contributed by the PV industry.

  1. Technology development of fabrication techniques for advanced solar dynamic concentrators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richter, Scott W.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the advanced concentrator program is to develop the technology that will lead to lightweight, highly reflective, accurate, scaleable, and long lived space solar dynamic concentrators. The advanced concentrator program encompasses new and innovative concepts, fabrication techniques, materials selection, and simulated space environmental testing. Fabrication techniques include methods of fabricating the substrates and coating substrate surfaces to produce high quality optical surfaces, acceptable for further coating with vapor deposited optical films. The selected materials to obtain a high quality optical surface include microsheet glass and Eccocoat EP-3 epoxy, with DC-93-500 selected as a candidate silicone adhesive and levelizing layer. The following procedures are defined: cutting, cleaning, forming, and bonding microsheet glass. Procedures are also defined for surface cleaning, and EP-3 epoxy application. The results and analyses from atomic oxygen and thermal cycling tests are used to determine the effects of orbital conditions in a space environment.

  2. Technology development of fabrication techniques for advanced solar dynamic concentrators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richter, Scott W.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the advanced concentrator program is to develop the technology that will lead to lightweight, highly reflective, accurate, scaleable, and long lived space solar dynamic concentrators. The advanced concentrator program encompasses new and innovative concepts, fabrication techniques, materials selection, and simulated space environmental testing. Fabrication techniques include methods of fabricating the substrates and coating substrate surfaces to produce high-quality optical surfaces, acceptable for further coating with vapor deposited optical films. The selected materials to obtain a high quality optical surface include microsheet glass and Eccocoat EP-3 epoxy, with DC-93-500 selected as a candidate silicone adhesive and levelizing layer. The following procedures are defined: cutting, cleaning, forming, and bonding microsheet glass. Procedures are also defined for surface cleaning, and EP-3 epoxy application. The results and analyses from atomic oxygen and thermal cycling tests are used to determine the effects of orbital conditions in a space environment.

  3. Thin silicon foils produced by epoxy-induced spalling of silicon for high efficiency solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Martini, R.; Kepa, J.; Stesmans, A.; Debucquoy, M.; Depauw, V.; Gonzalez, M.; Gordon, I.; Poortmans, J.

    2014-10-27

    We report on the drastic improvement of the quality of thin silicon foils produced by epoxy-induced spalling. In the past, researchers have proposed to fabricate silicon foils by spalling silicon substrates with different stress-inducing materials to manufacture thin silicon solar cells. However, the reported values of effective minority carrier lifetime of the fabricated foils remained always limited to ∼100 μs or below. In this work, we investigate epoxy-induced exfoliated foils by electron spin resonance to analyze the limiting factors of the minority carrier lifetime. These measurements highlight the presence of disordered dangling bonds and dislocation-like defects generated by the exfoliation process. A solution to remove these defects compatible with the process flow to fabricate solar cells is proposed. After etching off less than 1 μm of material, the lifetime of the foil increases by more than a factor of 4.5, reaching a value of 461 μs. This corresponds to a lower limit of the diffusion length of more than 7 times the foil thickness. Regions with different lifetime correlate well with the roughness of the crack surface which suggests that the lifetime is now limited by the quality of the passivation of rough surfaces. The reported values of the minority carrier lifetime show a potential for high efficiency (>22%) thin silicon solar cells.

  4. Solar Cell Production using UMG Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Hovel, Harold; Prettyman, Kevin

    2009-09-21

    Materials studies and solar cells made from various blends of UMG Si are compared with reference solar (PV) grade in terms of efficiencies, voltages, currents, diffusion lengths, minority carrier lifetimes and compositions. The UMG material used in this study performed unexpectedly well when used in cells manufactured both in a lab environment and on a commercial PV line. The limited number of cells of each composition does not support a full statistical analysis. However in comparing solar efficiencies, it is clear that a relatively minor delta exists between UMG blends and the particular PV grade material used in this study. That delta is between zero and 0.5 percentage points.

  5. Advanced Solar Observatory (ASO) accommodations requirements study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Results of an accommodations analysis for the Advanced Solar Observatory on Space Station Freedom are reported. Concepts for the High Resolution Telescope Cluster, Pinhole/Occulter Facility, and High Energy Cluster were developed which can be accommodated on Space Station Freedom. It is shown that workable accommodations concepts are possible. Areas of emphasis for the next stage of engineering development are identified.

  6. The Automated Array Assembly Task of the Low-cost Silicon Solar Array Project, Phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coleman, M. G.; Grenon, L.; Pastirik, E. M.; Pryor, R. A.; Sparks, T. G.

    1978-01-01

    An advanced process sequence for manufacturing high efficiency solar cells and modules in a cost-effective manner is discussed. Emphasis is on process simplicity and minimizing consumed materials. The process sequence incorporates texture etching, plasma processes for damage removal and patterning, ion implantation, low pressure silicon nitride deposition, and plated metal. A reliable module design is presented. Specific process step developments are given. A detailed cost analysis was performed to indicate future areas of fruitful cost reduction effort. Recommendations for advanced investigations are included.

  7. Method for forming indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Feng, Tom; Ghosh, Amal K.

    1984-03-13

    A high photo-conversion efficiency indium oxide/n-silicon heterojunction solar cell is spray deposited from a solution containing indium trichloride. The solar cell exhibits an Air Mass One solar conversion efficiency in excess of about 10%.

  8. Current status of silicon solar cell technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    In quest of higher efficiency, major progress has occurred in solar cell technology. Cell efficiency has climbed about 50 percent. Technical approaches leading to increased output include back surface fields, shallow junctions, improved antireflection coatings, surface texturizing, and fine grid patterns on the cell surface. The status of current solar cell technology and its incorporation into cell production is discussed. Research and development leading to improved performance and reduced cost are also described.

  9. Solar Concentrator Advanced Development Program, Task 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Solar dynamic power generation has been selected by NASA to provide power for the space station. Solar dynamic concentrator technology has been demonstrated for terrestrial applications but has not been developed for space applications. The object of the Solar Concentrator Advanced Development program is to develop the technology of solar concentrators which would be used on the space station. The first task of this program was to develop conceptual concentrator designs and perform trade-off studies and to develop a materials data base and perform material selection. Three unique concentrator concepts; Truss Hex, Spline Radial Panel and Domed Fresnel, were developed and evaluated against weighted trade criteria. The Truss Hex concept was recommended for the space station. Materials data base development demonstrated that several material systems are capable of withstanding extended periods of atomic oxygen exposure without undesirable performance degradation. Descriptions of the conceptual designs and materials test data are included.

  10. A reclaiming process for solar cell silicon wafer surfaces.

    PubMed

    Pa, P S

    2011-01-01

    The low yield of epoxy film and Si3N4 thin-film deposition is an important factor in semiconductor production. A new design system using a set of three lamination-shaped electrodes as a machining tool and micro electro-removal as a precision reclaiming process of the Si3N4 layer and epoxy film removal from silicon wafers of solar cells surface is presented. In the current experiment, the combination of the small thickness of the anode and cathodes corresponds to a higher removal rate for the thin films. The combination of the short length of the anode and cathodes combined with enough electric power produces fast electroremoval. A combination of the small edge radius of the anode and cathodes corresponds to a higher removal rate. A higher feed rate of silicon wafers of solar cells combined with enough electric power produces fast removal. A precise engineering technology constructed a clean production approach for the removal of surface microstructure layers from silicon wafers is to develop a mass production system for recycling defective or discarded silicon wafers from solar cells that can reduce pollution and lower cost. PMID:21446525

  11. Research on high-efficiency, single-junction, monolithic, thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells. Semiannual subcontract progress report, 1 December 1984-31 May 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Ashton, G.R.; Aspen, F.E.; Jacobson, R.L.; Jeffrey, F.R.; Tran, N.T.

    1986-01-01

    This report presents interim results of research in high-efficiency, single-junction, monolithic thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells, which consists of five research tasks: (1) amorphous silicon materials research, (2) nonsemiconductor materials research, (3) solar cell research, (4) monolithic, intraconnected cells/submodule research, and (5) multichamber deposition system research. The subcontracted work reported here advances the state of the art in thin-film amorphous silicon solar cell development through work on flexible substrates. A multichamber deposition system for depositing a-Si onto polyimide flexible web is essentially complete.

  12. Characterization of silicon heterojunctions for solar cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Conductive-probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM) measurements reveal the existence of a conductive channel at the interface between p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) as well as at the interface between n-type a-Si:H and p-type c-Si. This is in good agreement with planar conductance measurements that show a large interface conductance. It is demonstrated that these features are related to the existence of a strong inversion layer of holes at the c-Si surface of (p) a-Si:H/(n) c-Si structures, and to a strong inversion layer of electrons at the c-Si surface of (n) a-Si:H/(p) c-Si heterojunctions. These are intimately related to the band offsets, which allows us to determine these parameters with good precision. PMID:21711658

  13. Improved silicon carbide for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, T. J.; Winterbottom, W. L.

    1986-01-01

    Work performed to develop silicon carbide materials of high strength and to form components of complex shape and high reliability is described. A beta-SiC powder and binder system was adapted to the injection molding process and procedures and process parameters developed capable of providing a sintered silicon carbide material with improved properties. The initial effort has been to characterize the baseline precursor materials (beta silicon carbide powder and boron and carbon sintering aids), develop mixing and injection molding procedures for fabricating test bars, and characterize the properties of the sintered materials. Parallel studies of various mixing, dewaxing, and sintering procedures have been carried out in order to distinguish process routes for improving material properties. A total of 276 MOR bars of the baseline material have been molded, and 122 bars have been fully processed to a sinter density of approximately 95 percent. The material has a mean MOR room temperature strength of 43.31 ksi (299 MPa), a Weibull characteristic strength of 45.8 ksi (315 MPa), and a Weibull modulus of 8.0. Mean values of the MOR strengths at 1000, 1200, and 14000 C are 41.4, 43.2, and 47.2 ksi, respectively. Strength controlling flaws in this material were found to consist of regions of high porosity and were attributed to agglomerates originating in the initial mixing procedures. The mean stress rupture lift at 1400 C of five samples tested at 172 MPa (25 ksi) stress was 62 hours and at 207 MPa (30 ksi) stress was 14 hours. New fluid mixing techniques have been developed which significantly reduce flaw size and improve the strength of the material. Initial MOR tests indicate the strength of the fluid-mixed material exceeds the baseline property by more than 33 percent.

  14. Amorphous silicon enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor contacts for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Bullock, J. Cuevas, A.; Yan, D.; Demaurex, B.; Hessler-Wyser, A.; De Wolf, S.

    2014-10-28

    Carrier recombination at the metal-semiconductor contacts has become a significant obstacle to the further advancement of high-efficiency diffused-junction silicon solar cells. This paper provides the proof-of-concept of a procedure to reduce contact recombination by means of enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structures. Lightly diffused n{sup +} and p{sup +} surfaces are passivated with SiO{sub 2}/a-Si:H and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}/a-Si:H stacks, respectively, before the MIS contacts are formed by a thermally activated alloying process between the a-Si:H layer and an overlying aluminum film. Transmission/scanning transmission electron microscopy (TEM/STEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy are used to ascertain the nature of the alloy. Idealized solar cell simulations reveal that MIS(n{sup +}) contacts, with SiO{sub 2} thicknesses of ∼1.55 nm, achieve the best carrier-selectivity producing a contact resistivity ρ{sub c} of ∼3 mΩ cm{sup 2} and a recombination current density J{sub 0c} of ∼40 fA/cm{sup 2}. These characteristics are shown to be stable at temperatures up to 350 °C. The MIS(p{sup +}) contacts fail to achieve equivalent results both in terms of thermal stability and contact characteristics but may still offer advantages over directly metallized contacts in terms of manufacturing simplicity.

  15. Status of the DOE/SERI amorphous silicon research project - Recent advances and future directions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stafford, B. L.; Luft, W.; von Roedern, B.; Wallace, W. L.

    Recent advances in material, cell, and module research in the US Department of Energy/Solar Energy Research Institute (DOE/SERI) Amorphous Silicon Research Project (ASRP) are reviewed. Advances in transparent conductive oxides, high-performance back reflectors, cell interconnection/patterning schemes, and encapsulants are surveyed. The program phase that began in 1990 has major research goals of reproducible, cost-effective multijunction modules with stabilized efficiencies of 10 percent for same-bandgap modules and 12 percent for different-bandgap modules. The issue of stability and reliability of amorphous silicon modules is reviewed. Multijunction cell/module structures have demonstrated improved stability in R&D cells and modules over single-junction structures.

  16. Silicon diffusion in aluminum for rear passivated solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Urrejola, Elias; Peter, Kristian; Plagwitz, Heiko; Schubert, Gunnar

    2011-04-11

    We show that the lateral spread of silicon in a screen-printed aluminum layer increases by (1.50{+-}0.06) {mu}m/ deg. C, when increasing the peak firing temperature within an industrially applicable range. In this way, the maximum spread limit of diffused silicon in aluminum is predictable and does not depend on the contact area size but on the firing temperature. Therefore, the geometry of the rear side pattern can influence not only series resistance losses within the solar cell but the process of contact formation itself. In addition, too fast cooling lead to Kirkendall void formations instead of an eutectic layer.

  17. Atomic structure of interface states in silicon heterojunction solar cells.

    PubMed

    George, B M; Behrends, J; Schnegg, A; Schulze, T F; Fehr, M; Korte, L; Rech, B; Lips, K; Rohrmüller, M; Rauls, E; Schmidt, W G; Gerstmann, U

    2013-03-29

    Combining orientation dependent electrically detected magnetic resonance and g tensor calculations based on density functional theory we assign microscopic structures to paramagnetic states involved in spin-dependent recombination at the interface of hydrogenated amorphous silicon crystalline silicon (a-Si:H/c-Si) heterojunction solar cells. We find that (i) the interface exhibits microscopic roughness, (ii) the electronic structure of the interface defects is mainly determined by c-Si, (iii) we identify the microscopic origin of the conduction band tail state in the a-Si:H layer, and (iv) present a detailed recombination mechanism. PMID:23581355

  18. Silicon solar cell testing in concentrated sunlight and simulated sunlight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burgess, E. L.; Mitchell, K. W.

    1976-01-01

    A method is described for testing silicon solar cells in concentrated sunlight and simulated sunlight. Concentrated sunlight is obtained by using an acrylic Fresnel lens; the simulated sunlight source is a short arc Xenon lamp. Average illumination levels during the tests are inferred from an assumed linear relationship between short circuit current and illumination. The linearity assumption is investigated for 0.3 alpha cm base resistivity silicon cells and found to be valid. Some typical results are presented to illustrate the type of information obtained during the testing.

  19. A New Method of Metallization for Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macha, M.

    1979-01-01

    A low cost ohmic contact on silicon solar cells based on molybdenum-tin metal systems was developed. The approach is based on the formulation of a screenable ink composed from molybdenum oxide and tin mixture. The reduction of Mo03 into Mo and the establishment of Mo 03:Sn ratio is studied. Both tasks were done in an experimental station constructed for this purpose. The results show that molybdenum was formed from its oxide at 800 C. and improved in bonding to silicon at 900 C. A 20% Mo03-80%Sn mixture was converted into metallic coating within this temperature range.

  20. Degradation of bulk diffusion length in CZ silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Reiss, J.H.; King, R.R.; Mitchell, K.W.

    1995-08-01

    Commercially-produced, unencapsulated, CZ silicon solar cells can lose 3 to 4% of their initial efficiency after exposure to light. After this initial, rapid ( < 30 min.) decrease, the cell power output remains stable. The cell performance recovers in a matter of hours in the dark at room temperature, and degrades again under light exposure. The different conditions under which CZ silicon cells degrade, and the reverse process, annealing, are characterized with the methods of spectral response and current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Iron impurities are a possible cause of this effect.

  1. Silicon Solar Cell Process Development, Fabrication and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Tanner, D. P.

    1979-01-01

    The standard solar cells (2x2 cm) from the cast silicon (HEM) showed a maximum AMO efficiency of 10.1%. Cells from the low resistivity material (0.5 ohm-cm) showed lower performance than those of the high resistivity cast silicon (3 ohm-cm), an average efficiency 9.5% versus 7.6%. Maximum AMO efficiency of the standard solar cells from the EFG (RH) ribbons was about 7.5%. The solar cells from the controlled SiC, using the displaced die, showed more consistent and better performance than those of the uncontrolled SiC ribbons, an average efficiency of 6.6% versus 5.4%. The average AMO efficiency of the standard SOC solar cells were about 6%. These were large area solar cells (an average area of 15 sq cm). A maximum efficiency of 7.3% was obtained. The SOC solar cells showed both leakage and series resistance problems, leading to an average curve fill factor of about 60%.

  2. Improved silicon carbide for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, Thomas J.; Mangels, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    The development of silicon carbide materials of high strength was initiated and components of complex shape and high reliability were formed. The approach was to adapt a beta-SiC powder and binder system to the injection molding process and to develop procedures and process parameters capable of providing a sintered silicon carbide material with improved properties. The initial effort was to characterize the baseline precursor materials, develop mixing and injection molding procedures for fabricating test bars, and characterize the properties of the sintered materials. Parallel studies of various mixing, dewaxing, and sintering procedures were performed in order to distinguish process routes for improving material properties. A total of 276 modulus-of-rupture (MOR) bars of the baseline material was molded, and 122 bars were fully processed to a sinter density of approximately 95 percent. Fluid mixing techniques were developed which significantly reduced flaw size and improved the strength of the material. Initial MOR tests indicated that strength of the fluid-mixed material exceeds the baseline property by more than 33 percent. the baseline property by more than 33 percent.

  3. Resource recovery of scrap silicon solar battery cell.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ching-Hwa; Hung, Chi-En; Tsai, Shang-Lin; Popuri, Srinivasa R; Liao, Ching-Hua

    2013-05-01

    In order to minimize pollution problems and to conserve limited natural resources, a hydrometallurgical procedure was developed in this study to recover the valuable resources of silicon (Si), silver (Ag) and aluminum (Al) from scrap silicon solar battery cells. In this study, several methods of leaching, crystallization, precipitation, electrolysis and replacement were employed to investigate the recovery efficiency of Ag and Al from defective monocrystalline silicon solar battery cells. The defective solar battery cells were ground into powder followed by composition analysis with inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. The target metals Ag and Al weight percentage were found to be 1.67 and 7.68 respectively. A leaching process was adopted with nitric acid (HNO3), hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and sodium hydroxide as leaching reagent to recover Ag and Al from a ground solar battery cell. Aluminum was leached 100% with 18N H2SO4 at 70°C and Ag was leached 100% with 6N HNO3. Pure Si of 100% was achieved from the leaching solution after the recovery of Ag and Al, and was analyzed by scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectroscopy. Aluminum was recovered by crystallization process and silver was recovered by precipitation, electrolysis and replacement processes. These processes were applied successfully in the recovery of valuable metal Ag of 98-100%. PMID:23460539

  4. Silicon web process development. [for low cost solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Hopkins, R. H.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hill, F. E.; Heimlich, M. E.; Driggers, J. M.

    1979-01-01

    Silicon dendritic web, a single crystal ribbon shaped during growth by crystallographic forces and surface tension (rather than dies), is a highly promising base material for efficient low cost solar cells. The form of the product smooth, flexible strips 100 to 200 microns thick, conserves expensive silicon and facilitates automation of crystal growth and the subsequent manufacturing of solar cells. These characteristics, coupled with the highest demonstrated ribbon solar cell efficiency-15.5%-make silicon web a leading candidate to achieve, or better, the 1986 Low Cost Solar Array (LSA) Project cost objective of 50 cents per peak watt of photovoltaic output power. The main objective of the Web Program, technology development to significantly increase web output rate, and to show the feasibility for simultaneous melt replenishment and growth, have largely been accomplished. Recently, web output rates of 23.6 sq cm/min, nearly three times the 8 sq cm/min maximum rate of a year ago, were achieved. Webs 4 cm wide or greater were grown on a number of occassions.

  5. Selective-emitter crystalline silicon solar cells using phosphorus paste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Kyung Taek; Kang, Min Gu; Song, Hee-eun

    2014-11-01

    Selective-emitter structures have been studied to improve the conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells. However, such structures require additional complicated processes and incur extra cost. In this work, we used phosphorus paste (P-paste) to form a heavily-doped region beneath the grid and POCl3 to create a shallow emitter area. This method should be convenient to use in the solar-cell industry because it requires only additional P paste printing, compared to the case of homogeneous solar cells. Diffusion parameters including the temperature, diffusion time, and ambient gases were optimized. We observed that the spreading of the P paste was affected by the pyramidal size of the textured wafer due to the low viscosity of the P paste. The pyramidal height of the textured silicon surface was optimized at 3 μm to counterbalance the surface reflectance and the spreading of the P paste. The short-circuit current density of the completed selective emitter solar cell was increased, and an improvement of blue response in the internal quantum efficiency was seen while contact properties such as the fill factor deteriorated due to the spreading of the P paste and the thin emitter on top of the pyramid of the textured silicon surface. Double printing of the P paste was applied to solve this contact problem; a fill factor improvement of 2.4% was obtained.

  6. High-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells: Status and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    De Wolf, S.; Geissbuehler, J.; Loper, P.; Martin de Nicholas, S.; Seif, J.; Tomasi, A.; Ballif, C.

    2015-05-11

    Silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) uses silicon thin-film deposition techniques to fabricate photovoltaic devices from mono-crystalline silicon wafers (c-Si). This enables energy-conversion efficiencies above 21 %, also at industrial-production level. In this presentation we review the present status of this technology and point out recent trends. We first discuss how the properties of thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films can be exploited to fabricate passivating contacts, which is the key to high- efficiency HJT solar cells. Such contacts enable very high operating voltages, approaching the theoretical limits, and yield small temperature coefficients. With this approach, an increasing number of groups are reporting devices with conversion efficiencies well over 20 % on both-sides contacted n-type cells, Panasonic leading the field with 24.7 %. Exciting results have also been obtained on p-type wafers. Despite these high voltages, important efficiency gains can still be made in fill factor and optical design. This requires improved understanding of carrier transport across device interfaces and reduced parasitic absorption in HJT solar cells. For the latter, several strategies can be followed: Short-wavelength losses can be reduced by replacing the front a-Si:H films with wider-bandgap window layers, such as silicon alloys or even metal oxides. Long- wavelength losses are mitigated by introducing new high-mobility TCO’s such as hydrogenated indium oxide, and also by designing new rear reflectors. Optical shadow losses caused by the front metallization grid are significantly reduced by replacing printed silver electrodes with fine-line plated copper contacts, leading also to possible cost advantages. The ultimate approach to minimize optical losses is the implementation of back-contacted architectures, which are completely devoid of grid shadow losses and parasitic absorption in the front layers can be minimized irrespective of electrical

  7. High-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells: Status and perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    De Wolf, S.

    2015-04-27

    Silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) uses silicon thin-film deposition techniques to fabricate photovoltaic devices from mono-crystalline silicon wafers (c-Si). This enables energy-conversion efficiencies above 21 %, also at industrial-production level. In this presentation we review the present status of this technology and point out recent trends. We first discuss how the properties of thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films can be exploited to fabricate passivating contacts, which is the key to high- efficiency HJT solar cells. Such contacts enable very high operating voltages, approaching the theoretical limits, and yield small temperature coefficients. With this approach, an increasing number of groups are reporting devices with conversion efficiencies well over 20 % on n-type wafers, Panasonic leading the field with 24.7 %. Exciting results have also been obtained on p-type wafers. Despite these high voltages, important efficiency gains can still be made in fill factor and optical design. This requires improved understanding of carrier transport across device interfaces and reduced parasitic absorption in HJT solar cells. For the latter, several strategies can be followed: Short- wavelength losses can be reduced by replacing the front a-Si:H films with wider-bandgap window layers, such as silicon alloys or even metal oxides. Long-wavelength losses are mitigated by introducing new high-mobility TCO’s such as hydrogenated indium oxide, and also by designing new rear reflectors. Optical shadow losses caused by the front metalisation grid are significantly reduced by replacing printed silver electrodes with fine-line plated copper contacts, leading also to possible cost advantages. The ultimate approach to minimize optical losses is the implementation of back-contacted architectures, which are completely devoid of grid shadow losses and parasitic absorption in the front layers can be minimized irrespective of electrical transport requirements. The

  8. High-performance silicon nanohole solar cells.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kui-Qing; Wang, Xin; Li, Li; Wu, Xiao-Ling; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2010-05-26

    We demonstrate Si nanohole arrays as a superior sunlight-absorbing nanostructure for photovoltaic solar cell applications. Under 1 sun AM1.5G illumination, a Si nanohole solar cell with p-n junctions via P diffusion exhibited a open-circuit voltage of 566.6 mV, a short-circuit current density of 32.2 mA/cm(2), and a remarkable power conversion efficiency of 9.51%, which is higher than that of its counterparts based on Si nanowires, planar Si, and pyramid-textured Si. The nanohole array geometry presents a novel and viable method fo cost-efficient solar energy conversion. PMID:20426468

  9. Comparative values of advanced space solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slifer, L. W., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    A methodology for deriving a first order dollar value estimate for advanced solar cells which consists of defining scenarios for solar array production and launch to orbit and the associated costs for typical spacecraft, determining that portion affected by cell design and performance and determining the attributable cost differences is presented. Break even values are calculated for a variety of cells; confirming that efficiency and related effects of radiation resistance and temperature coefficient are major factors; array tare mass, packaging and packing factor are important; but cell mass is of lesser significance. Associated dollar values provide a means of comparison.

  10. Twinning in multicrystalline silicon for solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokkan, G.

    2013-12-01

    Twinning in multicrystalline silicon was studied by observing the surface of as-cut wafers and by EBSD. By tracing twin structures downwards to their first point of origin, the conditions at the point of generation were identified. Twins covering the whole width of a grain predominantly originates at junctions between three grain boundaries. Twins also originate at straight grain boundary segments of alternating direction, indicative of faceted grain boundaries. The phenomena are proposed to occur because they reduce grain boundary energy, which is substantiated by pole figure analysis. In addition to the CSL relationship, the orientation of the grain boundary in low energy configurations turned out to be essential.

  11. Improved silicon nitride for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeh, H. C.; Wimmer, J. M.

    1986-01-01

    Silicon nitride is a high temperature material currently under consideration for heat engine and other applications. The objective is to improve the net shape fabrication technology of Si3N4 by injection molding. This is to be accomplished by optimizing the process through a series of statistically designed matrix experiments. To provide input to the matrix experiments, a wide range of alternate materials and processing parameters was investigated throughout the whole program. The improvement in the processing is to be demonstrated by a 20 percent increase in strength and a 100 percent increase in the Weibull modulus over that of the baseline material. A full characterization of the baseline process was completed. Material properties were found to be highly dependent on each step of the process. Several important parameters identified thus far are the starting raw materials, sinter/hot isostatic pressing cycle, powder bed, mixing methods, and sintering aid levels.

  12. Improved silicon nitride for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeh, Harry C.; Fang, Ho T.

    1991-01-01

    The results of a four year program to improve the strength and reliability of injection-molded silicon nitride are summarized. Statistically designed processing experiments were performed to identify and optimize critical processing parameters and compositions. Process improvements were monitored by strength testing at room and elevated temperatures, and microstructural characterization by optical, scanning electron microscopes, and scanning transmission electron microscope. Processing modifications resulted in a 20 percent strength and 72 percent Weibull slope improvement of the baseline material. Additional sintering aids screening and optimization experiments succeeded in developing a new composition (GN-10) capable of 581.2 MPa at 1399 C. A SiC whisker toughened composite using this material as a matrix achieved a room temperature toughness of 6.9 MPa m(exp .5) by the Chevron notched bar technique. Exploratory experiments were conducted on injection molding of turbocharger rotors.

  13. Silicon materials task of the low-cost solar array project. Phase 4: Effects of impurities and processing on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Hanes, M. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rohatgi, A.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of impurities, various thermochemical processes, and any impurity-process interactions upon the performance of terrestrial solar cells are defined. The results form a basis for silicon producers, wafer manufacturers, and cell fabricators to develop appropriate cost benefit relationships for the use of less pure, less costly solar grade silicon.

  14. Initial results for the silicon monolithically interconnected solar cell product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinetta, L. C.; Shreve, K. P.; Cotter, J. E.; Barnett, A. M.

    1995-10-01

    This proprietary technology is based on AstroPower's electrostatic bonding and innovative silicon solar cell processing techniques. Electrostatic bonding allows silicon wafers to be permanently attached to a thermally matched glass superstrate and then thinned to final thicknesses less than 25 micron. These devices are based on the features of a thin, light-trapping silicon solar cell: high voltage, high current, light weight (high specific power) and high radiation resistance. Monolithic interconnection allows the fabrication costs on a per watt basis to be roughly independent of the array size, power or voltage, therefore, the cost effectiveness to manufacture solar cell arrays with output powers ranging from milliwatts up to four watts and output voltages ranging from 5 to 500 volts will be similar. This compares favorably to conventionally manufactured, commercial solar cell arrays, where handling of small parts is very labor intensive and costly. In this way, a wide variety of product specifications can be met using the same fabrication techniques. Prototype solar cells have demonstrated efficiencies greater than 11%. An open-circuit voltage of 5.4 volts, fill factor of 65%, and short-circuit current density of 28 mA/sq cm at AM1.5 illumination are typical. Future efforts are being directed to optimization of the solar cell operating characteristics as well as production processing. The monolithic approach has a number of inherent advantages, including reduced cost per interconnect and increased reliability of array connections. These features make this proprietary technology an excellent candidate for a large number of consumer products.

  15. Initial results for the silicon monolithically interconnected solar cell product

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dinetta, L. C.; Shreve, K. P.; Cotter, J. E.; Barnett, A. M.

    1995-01-01

    This proprietary technology is based on AstroPower's electrostatic bonding and innovative silicon solar cell processing techniques. Electrostatic bonding allows silicon wafers to be permanently attached to a thermally matched glass superstrate and then thinned to final thicknesses less than 25 micron. These devices are based on the features of a thin, light-trapping silicon solar cell: high voltage, high current, light weight (high specific power) and high radiation resistance. Monolithic interconnection allows the fabrication costs on a per watt basis to be roughly independent of the array size, power or voltage, therefore, the cost effectiveness to manufacture solar cell arrays with output powers ranging from milliwatts up to four watts and output voltages ranging from 5 to 500 volts will be similar. This compares favorably to conventionally manufactured, commercial solar cell arrays, where handling of small parts is very labor intensive and costly. In this way, a wide variety of product specifications can be met using the same fabrication techniques. Prototype solar cells have demonstrated efficiencies greater than 11%. An open-circuit voltage of 5.4 volts, fill factor of 65%, and short-circuit current density of 28 mA/sq cm at AM1.5 illumination are typical. Future efforts are being directed to optimization of the solar cell operating characteristics as well as production processing. The monolithic approach has a number of inherent advantages, including reduced cost per interconnect and increased reliability of array connections. These features make this proprietary technology an excellent candidate for a large number of consumer products.

  16. Predicting the interface morphologies of silicon films on arbitrary substrates: application in solar cells.

    PubMed

    Jovanov, Vladislav; Xu, Xu; Shrestha, Shailesh; Schulte, Melanie; Hüpkes, Jürgen; Knipp, Dietmar

    2013-08-14

    A three-dimensional model that predicts the interface morphologies of silicon thin-film solar cells prepared on randomly textured substrates was developed and compared to experimental data. The surface morphologies of silicon solar cells were calculated by using atomic force microscope scans of the textured substrates and the film thickness as input data. Calculated surface morphologies of silicon solar cells are in good agreement with experimentally measured morphologies. A detailed description of the solar cell interface morphologies is necessary to understand light-trapping in silicon single junction and micromorph tandem thin-film solar cells and derive optimal light-trapping structures. PMID:23889117

  17. Laser recrystallization for efficient multi-crystalline silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Lihui; Wilson, John; Lee, James

    2016-08-01

    A multi-crystalline silicon wafer contains dislocations and grain boundaries, which are detrimental to the performance of the multi-crystalline silicon solar cell. The dislocations and grain boundaries extend across the junction and dramatically degrade the ideality and fill factor of the cell. In this paper, a laser is used to recrystallize the emitter region of a multi-crystalline silicon wafer to remove crystallographic defects present in the junction. It was demonstrated that, with an appropriate laser power and scan speed, laser recrystallized patterns can have an enhanced photoluminescence response and internal quantum efficiency. Backscattered electron image and x-ray diffraction analyses also revealed that the laser recrystallized layer resembles a single crystalline like layer. Introducing a full area laser recrystallized layer may improve the open circuit voltage and fill factor of the cell, which significantly improved cell efficiency. External quantum efficiency and dark I–V measurements consistently supported this result.

  18. Solution-processed crystalline silicon double-heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devkota, Ramesh; Liu, Qiming; Ohki, Tatsuya; Hossain, Jaker; Ueno, Keiji; Shirai, Hajime

    2016-02-01

    Crystalline silicon double-heterojunction solar cells were fabricated using Si/organic and Si/Cs2CO3 heterojunctions. The front heterojunction is formed by spin-coating conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethyenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) on n-type Czochralski (CZ) (100) silicon, which separates the photogenerated carriers and blocks the electron dark current while allowing the photocurrent to pass through. The rear heterojunction, formed by spin-coating Cs2CO3 and polyethylenimine (PEI) dissolved in 2-ethoxyethanol and Al metal evaporation, functions as a back surface field that reduces the hole dark current while allowing the electron photocurrent to pass through. The double-heterojunction device showed a power conversion efficiency of 12.7% under AM1.5G simulated solar light exposure.

  19. Chlorine Free Technology for Solar-Grade Silicon Manufacturing: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Strebkov, D. S.; Pinov, A. P.; Zadde, V. V.; Lebedev, E. N.; Belov, E. P.; Efimov, N. K.; Kleshevnikova, S. I.; Touryan, K.; Bleak, D.

    2004-08-01

    Due to the development of the solar energy industry, a significant increase of polysilicon feedstock (PSF) production will be required in near future. The creation of special technology of solar grade polysilicon feedstock production is an important problem. Today, semiconductor-grade polysilicon is mainly manufactured using the trichlorosilane (SiHCl3) distillation and reduction. The feed-stock for trichlorosilane is metallurgical-grade silicon, the product of reduction of natural quartzite (silica). This polysilicon production method is characterized by high energy consumption and large amounts of wastes, containing environmentally harmful chlorine based compounds. In the former USSR the principles of industrial method for production of monosilane and polycrystalline silicon by thermal decomposition of monosilane were founded. This technology was proved in industrial scale at production of gaseous monosilane and PSF. We offered new chlorine free technology (CFT). Originality and novelty of the process were confirmed by Russian and US patents.

  20. Material-induced shunts in multicrystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Breitenstein, O. Bauer, J.; Rakotoniaina, J. P.

    2007-04-15

    By applying lock-in thermography imaging, light-beam-induced current imaging, electron-beam-induced current imaging at different stages of sample preparation, and infrared light microscopy in transmission mode, the physical nature of the dominant material-induced shunts in multicrystalline solar cells made from p-type silicon material has been investigated. It turns out that these shunts are due to silicon carbide (SiC) filaments, which grow preferentially in grain boundaries and cross the whole cell. These filaments are highly n-type doped, like the emitter layer on the surface of the cells. They are electrically connected both with the emitter and with the back contact, thereby producing internal shunts in the solar cell.

  1. Silicon solar cells with nickel/solder metallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, R. C.; Muleo, A.

    1981-01-01

    The use of nickel plus solder is shown to be feasible for contact metallization for silicon solar cells by offering a relatively inexpensive method of making electrical contact with the cell surfaces. Nickel is plated on silicon solar cells using an electroless chemical deposition method to give contacts with good adhesion, and in some cases where adhesion is poor initially, sintering under relatively mild conditions will dramatically improve the quality of the bond without harming the p-n junction of the cell. The cells can survive terrestrial environment stresses, which is demonstrated by a 1000 hour test at 85 C and 85% relative humidity under constant forward bias of 0.45 volt.

  2. Large area high efficiency multicrystalline silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirasawa, Katsuhiko; Yamashita, Hironori; Fukui, Kenji; Takayama, Michihiro; Okada, Kenichi

    A high-efficiency, low-cost large-area multicrystalline silicon solar cell having a cell size of 15 cm x 15 cm and a substrate made by the casting method has been developed. The bifacial silicon nitride solar cell (BSNSC) fabrication process was used to construct the cell. By incorporating a new structure at the cell surface, an optimized back-surface field (BSF) process, and an electrode with a ratio of 5.2 percent into the BSNSC fabrication process, a conversion efficiency of 15.1 percent (global, AM1.5, 100 mW/sq cm, 25 C) has been obtained. The uniformity of the electrical performance of the cell has been studied by measuring the distribution of the spectral response at various points on the cell. The results of uniformity testing are presented.

  3. Multi-Layer Inkjet Printed Contacts for Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, C. J.; van Hest, M.; Miedaner, A.; Kaydanova, T.; Smith, L.; Ginley, D. S.

    2006-01-01

    Ag, Cu, and Ni metallizations were inkjet printed with near vacuum deposition quality. The approach developed can be easily extended to other conductors such as Pt, Pd, Au, etc. Thick highly conducting lines of Ag and Cu demonstrating good adhesion to glass, Si, and printed circuit board (PCB) have been printed at 100-200degC in air and N{sub 2} respectively. Ag grids were inkjet-printed on Si solar cells and fired through the silicon nitride AR layer at 850degC, resulting in 8% cells. Next generation inks, including an ink that etches silicon nitride, have now been developed. Multi-layer inkjet printing of the etching ink followed by Ag ink produced contacts under milder conditions and gave solar cells with efficiencies as high as 12%.

  4. Advance on solar instrumentation in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yihua

    2015-08-01

    The solar observing facilities in China are introduced with the emphasis on the development in recent years and future plans for both ground and space-based solar instrumentations. The recent solar instruments are as follows: A new generation Chinese Spectral Radioreliograph (CSRH) has been constructed at Mingantu Observing Station in Zhengxiangbaiqi, inner Mongolia of China since 2013 and is in test observations now. CSRH has two arrays with 40 × 4.5 m and 60 × 2 m parabolic antennas covering 0.4-2 GHz and 2-15 GHz frequency range. CSRH is renamed as MUSER (Mingantu Ultrawide Spectral Radiheliograph) after its accomplishment. A new 1 m vacuum solar telescope (NVST) has been installed in 2010 at Fuxian lake, 60 km away from Kunming, Yunana. At present it is the best seeing place in China. A new telescope called ONSET (Optical and NIR Solar Eruption Tracer) has been established at the same site as NVST in 2011. ONSET has been put into operation since 2013. For future ground-based plans, Chinese Giant Solar Telescope (CGST) with spatial resolution equivalent to 8m and effective area of 5m full-aperture telescope has been proposed and was formally listed into the National Plans of Major Science & Technology Infrastructures in China. The pre-study and site survey for CGST have been pursued. A 1-meter mid-infrared telescope for precise measurement of the solar magnetic field has been funded by NSFC in 2014 as a national major scientific instrument development project. This project will develop the first mid-infrared solar magnetic observation instrument in the world aiming at increasing the precision of the transverse magnetic field measurement by one order of magnitude. For future ground-based plans, we promote the Deep-space Solar Observatory (DSO) with 1-m aperture telescope to be formally funded. The ASO-S (an Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory) has been supported in background phase by Space Science Program as a small mission. Other related space solar

  5. Surface photovoltage method extended to silicon solar cell junction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, E. Y.; Baraona, C. R.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    The conventional surface photovoltage (SPV) method is extended to the measurement of the minority carrier diffusion length in diffused semiconductor junctions of the type used in a silicon solar cell. The minority carrier diffusion values obtained by the SPV method agree well with those obtained by the X-ray method. Agreement within experimental error is also obtained between the minority carrier diffusion lengths in solar cell diffusion junctions and in the same materials with n-regions removed by etching, when the SPV method was used in the measurements.

  6. Updating the limit efficiency of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, M.

    1980-01-01

    The limit efficiency of a silicon solar cell is investigated using an analytical approach. The analytical model is based on the solution of a transport equation for minority carriers derived from the Shockley equations. On the basis of the computations, a 'narrow-region' design approach is suggested for both the front and the back regions of the solar cell. The design relies on low effective surface-recombination velocities, a textured front surface, and an optical internally reflecting back surface. With this approach, the limit efficiency is near 25%, and the optimum cell is 50 to 150 microns thick.

  7. The status of silicon ribbon growth technology for high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciszek, T. F.

    1985-01-01

    More than a dozen methods have been applied to the growth of silicon ribbons, beginning as early as 1963. The ribbon geometry has been particularly intriguing for photovoltaic applications, because it might provide large area, damage free, nearly continuous substrates without the material loss or cost of ingot wafering. In general, the efficiency of silicon ribbon solar cells has been lower than that of ingot cells. The status of some ribbon growth techniques that have achieved laboratory efficiencies greater than 13.5% are reviewed, i.e., edge-defined, film-fed growth (EFG), edge-supported pulling (ESP), ribbon against a drop (RAD), and dendritic web growth (web).

  8. Laser doping for high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jäger, Ulrich; Wolf, Andreas; Steinhauser, Bernd; Benick, Jan; Nekarda, Jan; Preu, Ralf

    2012-10-01

    Selective laser doping is a versatile tool for the local adaption of doping profiles in a silicon substrate. By adjusting the laser fluence as well as the pulse width the maximum melt depth in the silicon can be controlled. Longer pulses lead to lower temperatures in the material and can help to enlarge the process window as ablation sets in at higher fluencies. For the fabrication of highly efficient silicon solar cells, laser doping can be used for efficiency improvement and process simplification. In passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC), selective laser doping can be used for selective emitter formation. Employing such a process, an efficiency boost of Δ ƞ= 0.4%abs was observed on commercial Cz-Si material. Laser doping was also used for process simplification for the fabrication of locally doped point contacts at the rear of a solar cell. A simple approach employing a doped passivation layer and a laser doping process allows for efficiencies beyond 22% on high quality n-type silicon.

  9. Processes for producing low cost, high efficiency silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Rohatgi, Ajeet; Chen, Zhizhang; Doshi, Parag

    1996-01-01

    Processes which utilize rapid thermal processing (RTP) are provided for inexpensively producing high efficiency silicon solar cells. The RTP processes preserve minority carrier bulk lifetime .tau. and permit selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions, including emitter and back surface field (bsf), within the silicon substrate. Silicon solar cell efficiencies of 16.9% have been achieved. In a first RTP process, an RTP step is utilized to simultaneously diffuse phosphorus and aluminum into the front and back surfaces, respectively, of a silicon substrate. Moreover, an in situ controlled cooling procedure preserves the carrier bulk lifetime .tau. and permits selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions. In a second RTP process, both simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum as well as annealing of the front and back contacts are accomplished during the RTP step. In a third RTP process, the RTP step accomplishes simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum, annealing of the contacts, and annealing of a double-layer antireflection/passivation coating SiN/SiO.sub.x.

  10. Corrosion In Amorphous-Silicon Solar Cells And Modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mon, Gordon R.; Wen, Liang-Chi; Ross, Ronald G., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    Paper reports on corrosion in amorphous-silicon solar cells and modules. Based on field and laboratory tests, discusses causes of corrosion, ways of mitigating effects, and consequences for modules already in field. Suggests sealing of edges as way of reducing entry of moisture. Cell-free perimeters or sacrificial electrodes suggested to mitigate effects of sorbed moisture. Development of truly watertight module proves to be more cost-effective than attempting to mitigate effects of moisture.

  11. Junction Transport in Epitaxial Film Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Young, D. L.; Li, J. V.; Teplin, C. W.; Stradins, P.; Branz, H. M.

    2011-07-01

    We report our progress toward low-temperature HWCVD epitaxial film silicon solar cells on inexpensive seed layers, with a focus on the junction transport physics exhibited by our devices. Heterojunctions of i/p hydrogenated amorphous Si (a-Si) on our n-type epitaxial crystal Si on n++ Si wafers show space-charge-region recombination, tunneling or diffusive transport depending on both epitaxial Si quality and the applied forward voltage.

  12. Study of solar cells based on upgraded metallurgical grade silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlosser, V.; Kuchar, F.; Seeger, K.

    A study is presented on the applicability of diffused solar cells when cast upgraded metallurgical grade silicon (UMG-Si) is used. Cells have been prepared from differently processed UMG-Si and for comparison from high purity FZ-Si. The material was characterized by the minority carrier diffusion length, which was obtained from spectral response measurements. A two-diode equivalent circuit model was used in order to evaluate pn-junction characteristics under illumination and in the dark.

  13. Surface effects in high voltage silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meulenberg, A.; Arndt, R. A.

    1982-01-01

    The surface of low-resistivity silicon solar cells appears to be a major source of dark diffusion current. This region, consisting of the interface and the adjacent heavily doped layer, therefore, prevents attainment of the high open-circuit voltages expected from these cells. This paper describes the experimental effort carried out to reduce the various contributions of dark current from the surface. Analysis of results from this effort points to means of improving cell voltages by changing processing and structures.

  14. Modeling bifacial silicon solar cells for space degradation prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prat, L.; Garciamoreno, E.; Alcubilla, R.; Castaner, L.; Ruiz, J. M.

    1986-11-01

    Silicon bifacial light sensitive solar cells were modeled by a calculation of the profile of induced defects after irradiation, and by the transport equations solution through the cell structure with the appropriate boundary conditions. Results show that the bifacial benefits are lost after a flow of 1 MeV electrons or 10 MeV protons. The effect of proton energy was analyzed and a maximum of degradation is found. Back surface proton irradiation damages first the high-low back junction.

  15. Modeling of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Luppina, P.; Lugli, P.; Goodnick, S.

    2015-06-14

    Here we present modeling results on crystalline Si/amorphous Si (a-Si) heterojunction solar cells using Sentaurus including various models for defect states in the a-Si barriers, as well as explicit models for the ITO emitter contact. We investigate the impact of the band offsets and barrier heights of the a-Si/c-Si interface, particularly in terms of the open circuit voltage. It is also shown that the solar cell performance is sensitively dependent on the quality of the a-Si in terms of defect states and their distribution, particularly on the emitter side. Finally, we have investigate the role of tunneling and thermionic emission across the heterointerface in terms of transport from the Si to the ITO contact layer

  16. Studies of silicon pn junction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.

    1977-01-01

    Modifications of the basic Shockley equations that result from the random and nonrandom spatial variations of the chemical composition of a semiconductor were developed. These modifications underlie the existence of the extensive emitter recombination current that limits the voltage over the open circuit of solar cells. The measurement of parameters, series resistance and the base diffusion length is discussed. Two methods are presented for establishing the energy bandgap narrowing in the heavily-doped emitter region. Corrections that can be important in the application of one of these methods to small test cells are examined. Oxide-charge-induced high-low-junction emitter (OCI-HLE) test cells which exhibit considerably higher voltage over the open circuit than was previously seen in n-on-p solar cells are described.

  17. Status of silicon solar cell technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    Major progress in solar cell technology leading to increased efficiency has occurred since 1970. Technical approaches leading to this increased output include surface texturing, improved antireflection coatings, reduced grid pattern area coverage, shallow junctions and back surface fields. The status of these developments and their incorporation into cell production is discussed. Future research and technology trends leading to further efficiency increases and substantial cost reductions are described.

  18. Potential of optical design in tandem micromorph silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krc, J.; Campa, A.; Smole, F.; Topic, M.

    2006-04-01

    The potential of three advanced optical designs in tandem micromorph silicon solar cells are analysed by means of optical simulations: enhanced light scattering, intermediate reflector (interlayer) and antireflective coating (ARC) on glass. The effects on quantum efficiency, QE, and short circuit current density, J SC, of the top and bottom cell are investigated. In case of enhanced light scattering, the role of haze parameter and angular distribution function of scattered light is analysed separately. High haze parameter improves light trapping in top and bottom cell. However, the improvement in QE and J SC of the bottom cell is limited at higher haze parameters due to increased absorption in top cell and increased optical losses in realistic textured ZnO/Ag back contact. Broad ADF plays an important role for improving the performances of both, top and bottom cell. The role of refractive index of an interlayer between top and bottom cell is analysed. Significant increases in QE and J SC of the top cell are revealed for small refractive indexes of the interlayer (n < 2.0). At the same time noticeable decrease in the performance of the bottom cell is observed. Optimisation of thickness and refractive index of a single-layer ARC on glass is carried out in order to obtain maximal J SC either in top or in bottom cell. Moderate increases in J SC and QE are obtained for optimised ARC parameters. Among the three optical designs, the greatest potential, considering the improvements in both cells, is revealed for enhanced light scattering.

  19. Silicon halide-alkali metal flames as a source of solar grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, D. B.; Miller, W. J.

    1979-01-01

    The feasibility of using alkali metal-silicon halide diffusion flames to produce solar-grade silicon in large quantities and at low cost is demonstrated. Prior work shows that these flames are stable and that relatively high purity silicon can be produced using Na + SiCl4 flames. Silicon of similar purity is obtained from Na + SiF4 flames although yields are lower and product separation and collection are less thermochemically favored. Continuous separation of silicon from the byproduct alkali salt was demonstrated in a heated graphite reactor. The process was scaled up to reduce heat losses and to produce larger samples of silicon. Reagent delivery systems, scaled by a factor of 25, were built and operated at a production rate of 0.5 kg Si/h. Very rapid reactor heating rates are observed with wall temperatures reaching greater than 2000 K. Heat release parameters were measured using a cooled stainless steel reactor tube. A new reactor was designed.

  20. Irradiation creep of advanced silicon carbide fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, R.; Youngblood, G. E.

    2000-12-01

    The bend stress relaxation (BSR) method was applied to study irradiation enhanced creep (IEC) of small diameter silicon carbide (SiC) fibers after 10 MeV proton irradiation. A first series of tests was conducted on Sylramic™ fibers irradiated at 600°C with average bending stresses of 400 and 667 MPa and for irradiation doses smaller than 0.04 dpa. The BSR results are compared to previously obtained torsional creep test results for the Textron SCS-6™ type SiC fibers by calculating the tensile equivalents for both testing methods. For the Sylramic fibers, the creep constant κ=4.7×10-6 Mpa-1 dpa-1, was a factor of 6 smaller than the κ-value determined for SCS-6 fibers at 600°C. In contrast, for T<900°C the κ-value determined by R.J. Price [Nucl. Technol. 35 (1977) 320] for high purity monolithic β-Si after 7.7 dpa neutron irradiation was only 0.4×10-6 MPa-1 dpa-1.

  1. Improved silicon nitride for advanced heat engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeh, H. C.; Wimmer, J. M.; Huang, H. H.; Rorabaugh, M. E.; Schienle, J.; Styhr, K. H.

    1985-01-01

    The AiResearch Casting Company baseline silicon nitride (92 percent GTE SN-502 Si sub 3 N sub 4 plus 6 percent Y sub 2 O sub 3 plus 2 percent Al sub 2 O sub 3) was characterized with methods that included chemical analysis, oxygen content determination, electrophoresis, particle size distribution analysis, surface area determination, and analysis of the degree of agglomeration and maximum particle size of elutriated powder. Test bars were injection molded and processed through sintering at 0.68 MPa (100 psi) of nitrogen. The as-sintered test bars were evaluated by X-ray phase analysis, room and elevated temperature modulus of rupture strength, Weibull modulus, stress rupture, strength after oxidation, fracture origins, microstructure, and density from quantities of samples sufficiently large to generate statistically valid results. A series of small test matrices were conducted to study the effects and interactions of processing parameters which included raw materials, binder systems, binder removal cycles, injection molding temperatures, particle size distribution, sintering additives, and sintering cycle parameters.

  2. Effect of zinc impurity on silicon solar-cell efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sah, C.-T.; Chan, P. C. H.; Wang, C.-K.; Yamakawa, K. A.; Lutwack, R.; Sah, R. L.-Y.

    1981-01-01

    Zinc is a major residue impurity in the preparation of solar-grade silicon material by the zinc vapor reduction of silicon tetrachloride. This paper projects that in order to get a 17-percent AM1 cell efficiency for the Block IV module of the Low-Cost Solar Array Project, the concentration of the zinc recombination centers in the base region of silicon solar cells must be less than 4 x 10 to the 11th Zn/cu cm in the p-base n+/p/p+ cell and 7 x 10 to the 11th Zn/cu cm in the n-base p+/n/n+ cell for a base dopant impurity concentration of 5 x 10 to the 14 atoms/cu cm. If the base dopant impurity concentration is increased by a factor of 10 to 5 x 10 to the 15th atoms/cu cm, then the maximum allowable zinc concentration is increased by a factor of about two for a 17-percent AM1 efficiency. The thermal equilibrium electron and hole recombination and generation rates at the double-acceptor zinc centers are obtained from previous high-field measurements as well as new measurements at zero field described in this paper. These rates are used in the exact dc-circuit model to compute the projections.

  3. Low Earth orbit durability evaluation of protected silicone for advanced refractive photovoltaic concentrator arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Degroh, Kim K.; Mccollum, Timothy A.

    1994-01-01

    The need for efficient, cost effective sources of electrical power in space has led to the development of photovoltaic power systems which make use of novel refractive solar concentrators. These concentrators have been conceived in both point-focus and linear-focus designs. Current concentrator lenses are fabricated from flexible silicones with Fresnel facets along their inside surface. To insure the efficient operation of these power systems, the concentrator lenses must be durable and the silicone material must remain specularly transmitting over a reasonable lifetime in low Earth orbit (LEO) and other space environments. Because of the vulnerability of silicones to atomic oxygen and ultraviolet radiation in LEO these lenses have been coated with a multi-layer metal oxide protective coating. The objective of this research was to evaluate the LEO durability of the multilayer coated silicone for advanced refractive photovoltaic concentrator arrays with respect to optical properties and microstructure. Flat metal oxide coated silicone samples were exposed to ground-laboratory and in-space atomic oxyqen for durability evaluation.

  4. Space Qualification Test of a-Silicon Solar Cell Modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Q.; Lawton, R. A.; Manion, S. J.; Okuno, J. O.; Ruiz, R. P.; Vu, D. T.; Vu, D. T.; Kayali, S. A.; Jeffrey, F. R.

    2004-01-01

    The basic requirements of solar cell modules for space applications are generally described in MIL-S-83576 for the specific needs of the USAF. However, the specifications of solar cells intended for use on space terrestrial applications are not well defined. Therefore, this qualifications test effort was concentrated on critical areas specific to the microseismometer probe which is intended to be included in the Mars microprobe programs. Parameters that were evaluated included performance dependence on: illuminating angles, terrestrial temperatures, lifetime, as well as impact landing conditions. Our qualification efforts were limited to these most critical areas of concern. Most of the tested solar cell modules have met the requirements of the program except the impact tests. Surprisingly, one of the two single PIN 2 x 1 amorphous solar cell modules continued to function even after the 80000G impact tests. The output power parameters, Pout, FF, Isc and Voc, of the single PIN amorphous solar cell module were found to be 3.14 mW, 0.40, 9.98 mA and 0.78 V, respectively. These parameters are good enough to consider the solar module as a possible power source for the microprobe seismometer. Some recommendations were made to improve the usefulness of the amorphous silicon solar cell modules in space terrestrial applications, based on the results obtained from the intensive short term lab test effort.

  5. Silicon based solar cells using a multilayer oxide as emitter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, Jie; Wu, Weiliang; Liu, Zongtao; Shen, Hui

    2016-08-01

    In this work, n-type silicon based solar cells with WO3/Ag/WO3 multilayer films as emitter (WAW/n-Si solar cells) were presented via simple physical vapor deposition (PVD). Microstructure and composition of WAW/n-Si solar cells were studied by TEM and XPS, respectively. Furthermore, the dependence of the solar cells performances on each WO3 layer thickness was investigated. The results indicated that the bottom WO3 layer mainly induced band bending and facilitated charge-carriers separation, while the top WO3 layer degraded open-circuit voltage but actually improved optical absorption of the solar cells. The WAW/n-Si solar cells, with optimized bottom and top WO3 layer thicknesses, exhibited 5.21% efficiency on polished wafer with area of 4 cm2 under AM 1.5 condition (25 °C and 100 mW/cm2). Compared with WO3 single-layer film, WAW multilayer films demonstrated better surface passivation quality but more optical loss, while the optical loss could be effectively reduced by implementing light-trapping structures. These results pave a new way for dopant-free solar cells in terms of low-cost and facile process flow.

  6. Thin film polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosh, A. K.; Feng, T.; Eustace, D. J.; Maruska, H. P.

    1980-01-01

    During the present quarter efficiency of heterostructure solar cells has been increased from 13 to 13.7% for single crystal and from 10.3 to 11.2% for polysilicon. For polysilicon the improvements can be attributed to reductions in grid-area coverage and in reflection losses and for single crystal to a combination of reduction in grid-area coverage and increase in fill factor. The heterostructure cells in both cases were IT0/n-Si solar cells. Degradation in Sn0/sub 2//n-Si solar cells can be greatly reduced to negligible proportions by proper encapsulation. The cells used in stability tests have an average initial efficiency of 11% which reduces to a value of about 10.5% after 6 months of exposure to sunlight and ambient conditions. This small degradation occurs within the first month, and the efficiency remains constant subsequently. The reduction in efficiency is due to a decrease in the open-circuit voltage only, while the short-circuit current and fill factor remain constant. The effects of grain-size on the Hall measurements in polysilicon have been analyzed and interpreted, with some modifications, using a model proposed by Bube. This modified model predicts that the measured effective Hall voltage is composed of components originating from the bulk and space-charge region. For materials with large grains, the carrier concentration is independent of the inter-grain boundary barrier, whereas the mobility is dependent on it. However, for small rains, both the carrier density and mobility depend on the barrier. These predictions are consistant with experimental results of mm-size Wacker polysilicon and ..mu..m-size NTD polysilicon.

  7. Progress on the carbothermic production of solar-grade silicon using high-purity starting materials

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, F.W.; Aulich, H.A.; Fenzi, H.J.; Hecht, M.D.

    1984-05-01

    Solar-grade silicon was produced by carbothermic reduction (CR) in a 70 kW arc-furnace. Silicon suitable for solar cells with an efficiency > 10% was obtained form silicon dioxide of different origin and purified carbon. The importance of a low P- and B-concentration (<10/sup 17/a/cm/sup 3/) in the silicon produced was established. Cells made from CR-Si were successfully processed into modules using conventional technology.

  8. Silicon Halide-alkali Metal Flames as a Source of Solar Grade Silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, D. B.; Gould, R. K.

    1979-01-01

    A program is presented which was aimed at determining the feasibility of using high temperature reactions of alkali metals and silicon halides to produce low cost solar-grade silicon. Experiments are being conducted to evaluate product separation and collection processes, measure heat release parameters for scaling purposes, and determine the effects of the reactants and/or products on materials of reactor construction. During the current reporting period, the results of heat release experiments were used to design and construct a new type of thick-wall graphite reactor to produce larger quantities of silicon. A reactor test facility was constructed. Material compatibility tests were performed for Na in contact with graphite and several coated graphites. All samples were rapidly degraded at T = 1200K, while samples retained structural strength at 1700K. Pyrolytic graphite coatings cracked and separated from substances in all cases.

  9. High efficiency silicon solar cell based on asymmetric nanowire

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Myung-Dong; Rim, Taiuk; Kim, Kihyun; Meyyappan, M.; Baek, Chang-Ki

    2015-01-01

    Improving the efficiency of solar cells through novel materials and devices is critical to realize the full potential of solar energy to meet the growing worldwide energy demands. We present here a highly efficient radial p-n junction silicon solar cell using an asymmetric nanowire structure with a shorter bottom core diameter than at the top. A maximum short circuit current density of 27.5 mA/cm2 and an efficiency of 7.53% were realized without anti-reflection coating. Changing the silicon nanowire (SiNW) structure from conventional symmetric to asymmetric nature improves the efficiency due to increased short circuit current density. From numerical simulation and measurement of the optical characteristics, the total reflection on the sidewalls is seen to increase the light trapping path and charge carrier generation in the radial junction of the asymmetric SiNW, yielding high external quantum efficiency and short circuit current density. The proposed asymmetric structure has great potential to effectively improve the efficiency of the SiNW solar cells. PMID:26152914

  10. A virtual crystallization furnace for solar silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Steinbach, I.; Franke, D.; Krumbe, W.; Liebermann, J.

    1994-12-31

    Blocks of silicon for photovoltaic applications are economically crystallized in large casting furnaces. The quality of the material is determined by the velocity of the crystallization front, the flatness of the liquid-solid interface and the thermal gradients in the solid during cooling. The process cycle time, which is determined by the rate of crystallization and cooling, has a large effect on the process economic viability. Traditionally trial and error was used to determine the process control parameters, the success of which depended on the operator`s experience and intuition. This paper presents a numerical model, which when completed by a fitted data set, constitutes a virtual model of a real crystallization furnace, the Virtual Crystallization Furnace (VCF). The time-temperature distribution during the process cycle is the main output, which includes a display of actual liquid-solid front position. Moreover, solidification velocity, temperature gradients and thermal stresses can be deduced from this output. The time needed to run a simulation on a modern work-station is approximately 1/6 of real process time, thereby allowing the user to make many process variations at very reasonable costs. Therefore the VCF is a powerful tool for optimizing the process in order to reduce cycle time and to increase product quality.

  11. First solar cells on silicon wafers doped using sprayed boric acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, J. A.; Brito, Miguel C.; Costa, Ivo; Alves, Jorge Maia; Serra, João; Vallêra, António

    2010-11-01

    A new method for boron bulk doping of silicon ribbons is developed. The method is based on the spraying of the ribbons with a boric acid solution and is particularly suited for silicon ribbons that require a zone-melting recrystallization step. To analyse the quality of the material thus obtained, multicrystalline silicon samples doped with this doping process were used as substrate for solar cells and compared with solar cells made on commercial multicrystalline silicon wafers. The values obtained for the diffusion length and the IV curve parameters show that the method of doping with the boric acid solution is suitable to produce p-doped silicon ribbons for solar cell applications.

  12. Effects of Impurities and Processing on Silicon Solar Cells, Phase 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Blais, P. D.; Rohatgi, A.; Campbell, R. B.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Stapleton, R. E.; Mollenkopf, H. C.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    Results of the 14th quarterly report are presented for a program designed to assess the effects of impurities, thermochemical processes and any impurity process interactions on the performance of terrestrial silicon solar cells. The Phase 3 effort encompasses: (1) potential interactions between impurities and thermochemical processing of silicon; (2) impurity-cell performance relationships in n-base silicon; (3) effect of contaminants introduced during silicon production, refining or crystal growth on cell performance; (4) effects of nonuniform impurity distributions in large area silicon wafers; and (5) a preliminary study of the permanence of impurity effects in silicon solar cells.

  13. Comprehensive silicon solar cell computer modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamorte, M. F.

    1984-01-01

    The development of an efficient, comprehensive Si solar cell modeling program that has the capability of simulation accuracy of 5 percent or less is examined. A general investigation of computerized simulation is provided. Computer simulation programs are subdivided into a number of major tasks: (1) analytical method used to represent the physical system; (2) phenomena submodels that comprise the simulation of the system; (3) coding of the analysis and the phenomena submodels; (4) coding scheme that results in efficient use of the CPU so that CPU costs are low; and (5) modularized simulation program with respect to structures that may be analyzed, addition and/or modification of phenomena submodels as new experimental data become available, and the addition of other photovoltaic materials.

  14. Hybrid pentacene/a-silicon solar cells utilizing multiple carrier generation via singlet exciton fission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrler, Bruno; Musselman, Kevin P.; Böhm, Marcus L.; Friend, Richard H.; Greenham, Neil C.

    2012-10-01

    Silicon dominates the solar cell market because of its abundance, mature production processes, and high efficiencies, with the best solar cells approaching the Shockley-Queisser limit. Multiple exciton photogeneration provides a route to solar cells that surpass the Shockley-Queisser limit, and we report the use of pentacene, for which photogenerated singlet excitons rapidly convert into two lower-energy spin-triplet excitons. We report solar cells that couple amorphous silicon to pentacene. We show that a thin layer of nanocrystals between silicon and pentacene allows simultaneously harnessing low-energy photons absorbed in silicon and high-energy photons absorbed in pentacene, generating two excitons via singlet fission.

  15. High-efficiency one-sun photovoltaic module demonstration using solar-grade CZ silicon. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, J.M.

    1996-10-01

    This work was performed jointly by Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) and Siemens Solar Industries (Camarillo, CA) under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA 1248). The work covers the period May 1994 to March 1996. The purpose of the work was to explore the performance potential of commercial, photovoltaic-grade Czochralski (Cz) silicon, and to demonstrate this potential through fabrication of high-efficiency cells and a module. Fabrication of the module was omitted in order to pursue further development of advanced device structures. The work included investigation of response of the material to various fabrication processes, development of advanced cell structures using the commercial material, and investigation of the stability of Cz silicon solar cells. Some important achievements of this work include the following: post-diffusion oxidations were found to be a possible source of material contamination; bulk lifetimes around 75 pts were achieved; efficiencies of 17.6% and 15.7% were achieved for large-area cells using advanced cell structures (back-surface fields and emitter wrap-through); and preliminary investigations into photodegradation in Cz silicon solar cells found that oxygen thermal donors might be involved. Efficiencies around 20% should be possible with commercial, photovoltaic-grade silicon using properly optimized processes and device structures.

  16. Silicon halide-alkali metal flames as a source of solar grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, D. B.; Miller, W. J.; Gould, R. K.

    1980-01-01

    The feasibility of using continuous high-temperature reactions of alkali metals and silicon halides to produce silicon in large quantities and of suitable purity for use in the production of photovoltaic solar cells was demonstrated. Low pressure experiments were performed demonstrating the production of free silicon and providing experience with the construction of reactant vapor generators. Further experiments at higher reagent flow rates were performed in a low temperature flow tube configuration with co-axial injection of reagents and relatively pure silicon was produced. A high temperature graphite flow tube was built and continuous separation of Si from NaCl was demonstrated. A larger scaled well stirred reactor was built. Experiments were performed to investigate the compatability of graphite based reactor materials of construction with sodium. At 1100 to 1200 K none of these materials were found to be suitable. At 1700 K the graphites performed well with little damage except to coatings of pyrolytic graphite and silicon carbide which were damaged.

  17. Features of photoconversion in highly efficient silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sachenko, A. V.; Shkrebtii, A. I.; Korkishko, R. M.; Kostylyov, V. P.; Kulish, N. R.; Sokolovskyi, I. O.

    2015-02-15

    The photoconversion efficiency η in highly efficient silicon-based solar cells (SCs) is analyzed depending on the total surface-recombination rate S{sub s} on illuminated and rear surfaces. Solar cells based on silicon p-n junctions and α-Si:H or α-SiC:H-Si heterojunctions (so-called HIT structures) are considered in a unified approach. It is shown that a common feature of these SCs is an increased open-circuit voltage V{sub oc} associated with an additional contribution of the rear surface. Within an approach based on analysis of the physical features of photoconversion in SCs, taking into account the main recombination mechanisms, including Shockley-Read-Hall recombination, radiative recombination, surface recombination, recombination in the space-charge region, and band-to-band Auger recombination, expressions for the photoconversion efficiency of such SCs are obtained. The developed theory is compared with experiments, including those for SCs with record parameters, e.g., η = 25% and 24.7% for SCs with a p-n junction for HIT structures, respectively, under AM1.5 conditions. By comparing theory and experiment, the values of S{sub s} achieved as a result of recombination-loss minimization by various methods are determined. The results of calculations of the maximum possible value η{sub max} in silicon SCs are compared with the data of other papers. Good agreement is observed.

  18. Analytical and experimental evaluation of joining silicon carbide to silicon carbide and silicon nitride to silicon nitride for advanced heat engine applications, phase 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundberg, G. J.; Vartabedian, A. M.; Wade, J. A.; White, C. S.

    1994-10-01

    The purpose of joining, Phase 2 was to develop joining technologies for HIP'ed Si3N4 with 4wt% Y2O3 (NCX-5101) and for a siliconized SiC (NT230) for various geometries including: butt joins, curved joins and shaft to disk joins. In addition, more extensive mechanical characterization of silicon nitride joins to enhance the predictive capabilities of the analytical/numerical models for structural components in advanced heat engines was provided. Mechanical evaluation were performed by: flexure strength at 22 C and 1,370 C, stress rupture at 1,370 C, high temperature creep, 22 C tensile testing and spin tests. While the silicon nitride joins were produced with sufficient integrity for many applications, the lower join strength would limit its use in the more severe structural applications. Thus, the silicon carbide join quality was deemed unsatisfactory to advance to more complex, curved geometries. The silicon carbide joining methods covered within this contract, although not entirely successful, have emphasized the need to focus future efforts upon ways to obtain a homogeneous, well sintered parent/join interface prior to siliconization. In conclusion, the improved definition of the silicon carbide joining problem obtained by efforts during this contract have provided avenues for future work that could successfully obtain heat engine quality joins.

  19. Analytical and experimental evaluation of joining silicon carbide to silicon carbide and silicon nitride to silicon nitride for advanced heat engine applications Phase 2. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Sundberg, G.J.; Vartabedian, A.M.; Wade, J.A.; White, C.S.

    1994-10-01

    The purpose of joining, Phase 2 was to develop joining technologies for HIP`ed Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} with 4wt% Y{sub 2}O{sub 3} (NCX-5101) and for a siliconized SiC (NT230) for various geometries including: butt joins, curved joins and shaft to disk joins. In addition, more extensive mechanical characterization of silicon nitride joins to enhance the predictive capabilities of the analytical/numerical models for structural components in advanced heat engines was provided. Mechanical evaluation were performed by: flexure strength at 22 C and 1,370 C, stress rupture at 1,370 C, high temperature creep, 22 C tensile testing and spin tests. While the silicon nitride joins were produced with sufficient integrity for many applications, the lower join strength would limit its use in the more severe structural applications. Thus, the silicon carbide join quality was deemed unsatisfactory to advance to more complex, curved geometries. The silicon carbide joining methods covered within this contract, although not entirely successful, have emphasized the need to focus future efforts upon ways to obtain a homogeneous, well sintered parent/join interface prior to siliconization. In conclusion, the improved definition of the silicon carbide joining problem obtained by efforts during this contract have provided avenues for future work that could successfully obtain heat engine quality joins.

  20. Polyimide based amorphous silicon solar modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffrey, Frank R.; Grimmer, Derrick P.; Martens, Steven A.; Abudagga, Khaled; Thomas, Michael L.; Noak, Max

    1993-01-01

    Requirements for space power are increasingly emphasizing lower costs and higher specific powers. This results from new fiscal constraints, higher power requirements for larger applications, and the evolution toward longer distance missions such as a Lunar or Mars base. The polyimide based a-Si modules described are being developed to meet these needs. The modules consist of tandem a-Si solar cell material deposited directly on a roll of polyimide. A laser scribing/printing process subdivides the deposition into discrete cell strips which are series connected to produce the required voltage without cutting the polymer backing. The result is a large, monolithic, blanket type module approximately 30 cm wide and variable in length depending on demand. Current production modules have a specific power slightly over 500 W/Kg with room for significant improvement. Costs for the full blanket modules range from $30/Watt to $150/Watt depending on quantity and engineering requirements. Work to date focused on the modules themselves and adjusting them for the AMO spectrum. Work is needed yet to insure that the modules are suitable for the space environment.

  1. Laser processing of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katzeff, J. S.; Lopez, M.; Burger, D. R.

    1981-01-01

    Results of a study to utilize an Nd:glass laser for production line annealing of ion implantation induced damage in solar cells are reported. Czochralski-grown and sawn Si wafers 7.6 cm in diam, 0.35 mm thick, were implanted with phosphorus junctions and boron BSFs. Annealing with electron beam, laser, and firing of an Al paste to form the BSFs in different cells was compared. The laser was employed at 1.06 and 0.53 micron and in combination of both, with a 20-50 nsec pulsewidth, and energy densities of 1.2, 1.5, 1.9, and 2.1 J/sq cm. Best optical coupling was observed with the combined wavelengths and a 20 nsec pulse, using energy densities less than 1.5 J/sq cm. Although the Al sintered cells displayed the best characteristics, laser annealing is concluded to offer electrically active, defect-free, shallow junction Si substrates for high efficiency cells.

  2. Polyimide based amorphous silicon solar modules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffrey, Frank R.; Grimmer, Derrick P.; Martens, Steven A.; Abudagga, Khaled; Thomas, Michael L.; Noak, Max

    1993-05-01

    Requirements for space power are increasingly emphasizing lower costs and higher specific powers. This results from new fiscal constraints, higher power requirements for larger applications, and the evolution toward longer distance missions such as a Lunar or Mars base. The polyimide based a-Si modules described are being developed to meet these needs. The modules consist of tandem a-Si solar cell material deposited directly on a roll of polyimide. A laser scribing/printing process subdivides the deposition into discrete cell strips which are series connected to produce the required voltage without cutting the polymer backing. The result is a large, monolithic, blanket type module approximately 30 cm wide and variable in length depending on demand. Current production modules have a specific power slightly over 500 W/Kg with room for significant improvement. Costs for the full blanket modules range from $30/Watt to $150/Watt depending on quantity and engineering requirements. Work to date focused on the modules themselves and adjusting them for the AMO spectrum. Work is needed yet to insure that the modules are suitable for the space environment.

  3. High-performance porous silicon solar cell development. Final report, October 1, 1993--September 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Maruska, P

    1996-09-01

    The goal of the program was to demonstrate use of porous silicon in new solar cell structures. Porous silicon technology has been developed at Spire for producing visible light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The major aspects that they have demonstrated are the following: porous silicon active layers have been made to show photovoltaic action; porous silicon surface layers can act as antireflection coatings to improve the performance of single-crystal silicon solar cells; and porous silicon surface layers can act as antireflection coatings on polycrystalline silicon solar cells. One problem with the use of porous silicon is to achieve good lateral conduction of electrons and holes through the material. This shows up in terms of poor blue response and photocurrents which increase with increasing reverse bias applied to the diode.

  4. Advanced solar receivers for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, H. J.; Coombs, M. G.; Lacy, D. E.

    1988-01-01

    A study has been conducted to generate and evaluate advanced solar heat receiver concepts suitable for orbital application with Brayton and Stirling engine cycles in the 7-kW size range. The generated receiver designs have thermal storage capability and, when implemented, will be lighter, smaller, and/or more efficient than baseline systems such as the configuration used for the Brayton solar receiver under development by Garrett AiResearch for the NASA Space Station. In addition to the baseline designs, four other receiver concepts were designed and evaluated with respect to Brayton and Stirling engines. These concepts include a higher temperature version of the baseline receiver, a packed bed receiver, a plate-fin receiver, and a heat pipe receiver. The thermal storage for all designs is provided by the melting and freezing of a salt.

  5. The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope mount assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, Mark; Cho, Myung; Goodrich, Bret; Hansen, Eric; Hubbard, Rob; Lee, Joon Pyo; Wagner, Jeremy

    2006-06-01

    When constructed on the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the world's largest solar telescope. The ATST is a unique design that utilizes a state-of-the-art off-axis Gregorian optical layout with five reflecting mirrors delivering light to a Nasmyth instrument rotator, and nine reflecting mirrors delivering light to an instrument suite located on a large diameter rotating coude lab. The design of the telescope mount structure, which supports and positions the mirrors and scientific instruments, has presented noteworthy challenges to the ATST engineering staff. Several novel design solutions, as well as adaptations of existing telescope technologies to the ATST application, are presented in this paper. Also shown are plans for the control system and drives of the structure.

  6. Light-induced anodisation of silicon for solar cell passivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, J.; Wang, X.; Opila, R.; Lennon, A.

    2013-11-01

    This paper reports a new method for forming anodic oxides on silicon surfaces using the light-induced current of pn-junction solar cells to make p-type silicon surfaces anodic. The light-induced anodisation process enables anodic oxide layers as thick as 79 nm to be formed at room temperature in a faster, more uniform, and controllable manner compared to previously reported clip-based anodisation methods. Although the effective minority carrier lifetime decreased immediately after light-induced anodisation from initial values measured with an 17 nm thermally grown oxide on both wafer surfaces, the 1-sun implied open circuit voltage of wafers on which the thermally grown oxide on the p-type surface was replaced by an anodic oxide of the same thickness could be returned to its initial value of ˜635 mV (for 3-5 Ω-cm Cz silicon wafers) after a 400 °C anneal in oxygen and then forming gas. The passivation of the formed anodic oxide layers was stable for a period of 50 days providing the oxide was protected by a 75 nm thick silicon nitride capping layer.

  7. 15th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Modules: Materials and Processes; Extended Abstracts and Papers

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B. L.

    2005-11-01

    The National Center for Photovoltaics sponsored the 15th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells & Modules: Materials and Processes, held in Vail, CO, August 7-10, 2005. This meeting provided a forum for an informal exchange of technical and scientific information between international researchers in the photovoltaic and relevant non-photovoltaic fields. The workshop addressed the fundamental properties of PV silicon, new solar cell designs, and advanced solar cell processing techniques. A combination of oral presentations by invited speakers, poster sessions, and discussion sessions reviewed recent advances in crystal growth, new cell designs, new processes and process characterization techniques, and cell fabrication approaches suitable for future manufacturing demands. The theme of this year's meeting was 'Providing the Scientific Basis for Industrial Success.' Specific sessions during the workshop included: Advances in crystal growth and material issues; Impurities and defects in Si; Advanced processing; High-efficiency Si solar cells; Thin Si solar cells; and Cell design for efficiency and reliability module operation. The topic for the Rump Session was ''Si Feedstock: The Show Stopper'' and featured a panel discussion by representatives from various PV companies.

  8. Advancing tandem solar cells by spectrally selective multilayer intermediate reflectors.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Andre; Paetzold, Ulrich W; Zhang, Chao; Merdzhanova, Tsvetelina; Lambertz, Andreas; Ulbrich, Carolin; Bittkau, Karsten; Rau, Uwe

    2014-08-25

    Thin-film silicon tandem solar cells are composed of an amorphous silicon top cell and a microcrystalline silicon bottom cell, stacked and connected in series. In order to match the photocurrents of the top cell and the bottom cell, a proper photon management is required. Up to date, single-layer intermediate reflectors of limited spectral selectivity are applied to match the photocurrents of the top and the bottom cell. In this paper, we design and prototype multilayer intermediate reflectors based on aluminum doped zinc oxide and doped microcrystalline silicon oxide with a spectrally selective reflectance allowing for improved current matching and an overall increase of the charge carrier generation. The intermediate reflectors are successfully integrated into state-of-the-art tandem solar cells resulting in an increase of overall short-circuit current density by 0.7 mA/cm(2) in comparison to a tandem solar cell with the standard single-layer intermediate reflector. PMID:25322181

  9. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H. I.; Iles, P. A.; Leung, D. C.

    1981-01-01

    Solar cells were fabricated from EFG ribbons dendritic webs, cast ingots by heat exchanger method, and cast ingots by ubiquitous crystallization process. Baseline and other process variations were applied to fabricate solar cells. EFG ribbons grown in a carbon-containing gas atmosphere showed significant improvement in silicon quality. Baseline solar cells from dendritic webs of various runs indicated that the quality of the webs under investigation was not as good as the conventional CZ silicon, showing an average minority carrier diffusion length of about 60 um versus 120 um of CZ wafers. Detail evaluation of large cast ingots by HEM showed ingot reproducibility problems from run to run and uniformity problems of sheet quality within an ingot. Initial evaluation of the wafers prepared from the cast polycrystalline ingots by UCP suggested that the quality of the wafers from this process is considerably lower than the conventional CZ wafers. Overall performance was relatively uniform, except for a few cells which showed shunting problems caused by inclusions.

  10. Towards a 700 mV silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, M. A.; Blakers, A. W.; Gauja, E.; Willison, M. R.; Szpitalak, T.

    1982-01-01

    The key to improved silicon solar cell performance lies in increasing cell open circuit voltage. Not only does improved voltage direclty increase cell efficiency, but it also increases the limiting value of fill factor and decreases the temperature sensitivity of the cell. Limits on attainable open circuit voltage are not well defined. A thermodynamic limit of 850 mV exists for black body silicon cells, with 700 mV long regarded as a practical limit. This paper describes experimental work which has resulted in experimental devices with open circuit voltages approaching 700 mV. Values up to 694 (AM0, 25 C) have been demonstrated. The cells are similar in structure to conventional p-n junction cells, but particular attention is paid to passivating the entire top surface of the cell, including regions under the top contact.

  11. The silicon solar cell as a photometric detector.

    PubMed

    Witherell, P G; Faulhaber, M E

    1970-01-01

    Early in their development, silicon solar cells were recognized to have characteristics desirable for photometric detectors. It is therefore surprising that their use in this way has not become more widespread. Results of an investigation to establish more completely the photometric capabilities of these cells are presented in this paper. An equivalent circuit model is used to predict performance from basic cell parameters and the dependence on illumination level and load impedance is established. When load impedance is low, silicon cells have a small temperature coefficient and the cell current is accurately proportional to illumination. With high impedance loads and high illumination levels, the cell voltage is logarithmically related to illumination and the temperature sensitivity is approximately an order of magnitude greater. Variation of spectral response between unselected cells from the same manufacturer was found to be considerably less than that typically measured for unselected phototubes. PMID:20076139

  12. Impurity effects in silicon for high efficiency solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Rohatgi, A.

    1986-01-01

    Model analyses indicate that sophisticated solar cell designs including, e.g., back surface fields, optical reflectors, surface passivation, and double layer antireflective coatings can produce devices with conversion efficiencies above 20 percent (AM1). To realize this potential, the quality of the silicon from which the cells are made must be improved; and these excellent electrical properties must be maintained during device processing. As the cell efficiency rises, the sensitivity to trace contaminants also increases. For example, the threshold Ti impurity concentration at which cell performance degrades is more than an order of magnitude lower for an 18-percent cell. Similar behavior occurs for numerous other metal species which introduce deep level traps that stimulate the recombination of photogenerated carriers in silicon. Purification via crystal growth in conjunction with gettering steps to preserve the large diffusion length of the as-grown material can lead to the production of devices with efficiencies aboved 18 percent, as has been verified experimentally.

  13. Effect of dopants on annealing performance of silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott-Monck, J. A.; Anspaugh, B. E.

    1979-01-01

    The optimum annealing parameters of time and temperature for producing cell output recovery were established. Devices made from gallium doped and boron doped silicon were investigated. The cells ranged in resistivity from 0.1 to 20 ohm-cm and in thickness from 50 to 250 micrometers. The observations can be explained in a qualitative manner by postulating a pair of competing mechanisms to account for the low temperature reverse annealing seen in most boron and gallium doped silicon solar cells. Still another mechanism dominates at higher temperatures (350 C and greater) to complete this model. One of the mechanisms, defined as B, allows migrators to couple with radiation induced recombination sites thus increasing or enhancing their capture cross sections. This would tend to reduce minority carrier diffusion length. The new recombination complex is postulated to be thermally stable up to temperatures of approximately 350 C.

  14. The Production of Solar Cell Grade Silicon from Bromosilanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schumacher, J. C.; Woerner, L.; Moore, E.; Newman, C.

    1979-01-01

    A continuous Flow Reactor (CFR) process based on the hydrogen reduction of the bromosilanes SiBr4 and SiHBr3 was proposed. Initial experiments carried and directed at obtaining overall yield data for bromosilane reduction in the CFR, indicated the need for increased reactor residence time and deposition substrate particle packing density to fully characterize the kinetics (rate) and thermodynamics (yield) of observed silicon production. Fluidized bed experiments were therefore initiated to overcome these experimental difficulties, which showed both thermal decomposition and hydrogen reduction of SiHBr3 in a fluid bed reactor to present attractive closed-loop processes for producing solar cell grade polycrystalline silicon. No process selection could be made however due to the fact that preliminary optimization of 2 of 3 process stages in each case during the course of the experimental program showed comparable attainment of cost element objectives.

  15. Simulation analysis of a novel high efficiency silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mokashi, Anant R.; Daud, T.; Kachare, A. H.

    1985-01-01

    It is recognized that crystalline silicon photovoltaic module efficiency of 15 percent or more is required for cost-effective photovoltaic energy utilization. This level of module efficiency requires large-area encapsulated production cell efficiencies in the range of 18 to 20 percent. Though the theoretical maximum of silicon solar cell efficiency for an idealized case is estimated to be around 30 percent, practical performance of cells to-date are considerably below this limit. This is understood to be largely a consequence of minority carrier losses in the bulk as well as at all surfaces including those under the metal contacts. In this paper a novel device design with special features to reduce bulk and surface recombination losses is evaluated using numerical analysis technique. Details of the numerical model, cell design, and analysis results are presented.

  16. High-purity silicon for solar cell applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dosaj, V. D.; Hunt, L. P.; Schei, A.

    1978-01-01

    The article discusses the production of solar cells from high-purity silicon. The process consists of reducing the level of impurities in the raw materials, preventing material contamination before and after entering the furnace, and performing orders-of-magnitude reduction of metal impurity concentrations. The high-purity raw materials are considered with reference to carbon reductants, silica, and graphite electrodes. Attention is also given to smelting experiments used to demonstrate, in an experimental-scale furnace, the production of high-purity SoG-Si. It is found that high-purity silicon may be produced from high-purity quartz and chemically purified charcoal in a 50-kVA arc furnace. The major contamination source is shown to be impurities from the carbon reducing materials.

  17. Effects of impurities on silicon solar-cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.

    1986-01-01

    Model analyses indicate that sophisticated solar cell designs (back surface fields, optical reflectors, surface passivation, and double layer antireflective coatings) can produce devices with conversion efficiencies above 20%. To realize this potential, the quality of the silicon from which the cells are made must be improved; and these excellent electrical properties must be maintained during device processing. As the cell efficiency rises, the sensitivity to trace contaminants also increases. For example, the threshold Ti impurity concentraion at which cell performance degrades is more than an order of magnitude lower for an 18% cell than for a 16% cell. Similar behavior occurs for numerous other metal species which introduce deep level traps that stimulate the recombination of photogenerated carriers in silicon. Purification via crystal growth in conjunction with gettering steps to preserve the large diffusion length of the as grown material can lead to the production of devices with efficiencies above 18%, as verified experimentally.

  18. Recent advances in sensitized mesoscopic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Grätzel, Michael

    2009-11-17

    -intensive high vacuum and materials purification steps that are currently employed in the fabrication of all other thin-film solar cells. Organic materials are abundantly available, so that the technology can be scaled up to the terawatt scale without running into feedstock supply problems. This gives organic-based solar cells an advantage over the two major competing thin-film photovoltaic devices, i.e., CdTe and CuIn(As)Se, which use highly toxic materials of low natural abundance. However, a drawback of the current embodiment of OPV cells is that their efficiency is significantly lower than that for single and multicrystalline silicon as well as CdTe and CuIn(As)Se cells. Also, polymer-based OPV cells are very sensitive to water and oxygen and, hence, need to be carefully sealed to avoid rapid degradation. The research discussed within the framework of this Account aims at identifying and providing solutions to the efficiency problems that the OPV field is still facing. The discussion focuses on mesoscopic solar cells, in particular, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), which have been developed in our laboratory and remain the focus of our investigations. The efficiency problem is being tackled using molecular science and nanotechnology. The sensitizer constitutes the heart of the DSC, using sunlight to pump electrons from a lower to a higher energy level, generating in this fashion an electric potential difference, which can exploited to produce electric work. Currently, there is a quest for sensitizers that achieve effective harnessing of the red and near-IR part of sunlight, converting these photons to electricity better than the currently used generation of dyes. Progress in this area has been significant over the past few years, resulting in a boost in the conversion efficiency of the DSC that will be reviewed. PMID:19715294

  19. Radiation damage and annealing of amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byvik, C. E.; Slemp, W. S.; Smith, B. T.; Buoncristiani, A. M.

    1984-01-01

    Amorphous silicon solar cells were irradiated with 1 MeV electrons at the Space Environmental Effects Laboratory of the NASA Langley Research Center. The cells accumulated a total fluence of 10 to the 14th, 10 to the 15th, and 10 to the 16th electrons per square centimeter and exhibited increasing degradation with each irradiation. This degradation was tracked by evaluating the I-V curves for AM0 illumination and the relative spectral response. The observed radiation damage was reversed following an anneal of the cells under vacuum at 200 C for 2 hours.

  20. Front surface passivation of silicon solar cells with antireflection coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crotty, G.; Daud, T.; Kachare, R.

    1987-01-01

    It is demonstrated that the deposition and postdeposition sintering of an antireflection (AR) coating in hydrogen acts to passivate silicon solar cells. Cells with and without an SiO2 passivating layer, coated with a TiO(x)/Al2O3 AR coating, showed comparable enhancements in short-wavelength spectral response and in open-circuit voltage Voc after sintering at 400 C for 5 min in a hydrogen ambient. The improvement in Voc of cells without SiO2 is attributed to front-surface passivation by the AR coating during processing.

  1. Back-Contact Crystalline-Silicon Solar Cells and Modules

    SciTech Connect

    Bode, M.D.; Garrett, S.E.; Gee, J.M.; Jimeno, J.C.; Smith, D.D.

    1999-03-10

    This paper summarizes recent progress in the development of back-contact crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar cells and modules at Sandia National Laboratories. Back-contact cells have potentially improved efficiencies through the elimination of grid obscuration and allow for significant simplifications in the module assembly process. Optimization of the process sequence has improved the efficiency of our back-contact cell (emitter wrap through) from around 12% to near 17% in the past 12 months. In addition, recent theoretical work has elucidated the device physics of emitter wrap-through cells. Finally, improvements in the assembly processing back-contact cells are described.

  2. Effects of high doping levels silicon solar cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Godlewski, M. P.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.; Baraona, C. R.

    1975-01-01

    The significance of the heavy doping effects (HDE) on the open-circuit voltage of silicon solar cells is assessed. Voltage calculations based on diffusion theory are modified to include the first order features of the HDE. Comparisions of the open-circuit voltage measured for cells of various base resistivities are made with those calculated using the diffusion model with and without the HDE. Results indicate that the observed variation of voltage with base resistivity is predicted by these effects. A maximum efficiency of 19% (AM0) and a voltage of 0.7 volts are calculated for 0.1 omega-cm cells assuming an optimum diffused layer impurity profile.

  3. Silicon solar cell process development, fabrication and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leung, D. C.; Iles, P. A.

    1983-01-01

    Measurements of minority carrier diffusion lengths were made on the small mesa diodes from HEM Si and SILSO Si. The results were consistent with previous Voc and Isc measurements. Only the medium grain SILSO had a distinct advantage for the non grain boundary diodes. Substantial variations were observed for the HEM ingot 4141C. Also a quantitatively scaled light spot scan was being developed for localized diffusion length measurements in polycrystalline silicon solar cells. A change to a more monochromatic input for the light spot scan results in greater sensitivity and in principle, quantitative measurement of local material qualities is now possible.

  4. Development of low cost contacts to silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanner, D. P.

    1980-01-01

    The results of the second phase of the program of developing low cost contacts to silicon solar cells using copper are presented. Phase 1 yielded the development of a plated Pd-Cr-Cu contact system. This process produced cells with shunting problems when they were heated to 400 C for 5 minutes. Means of stopping the identified copper diffusion which caused the shunting were investigated. A contact heat treatment study was conducted with Pd-Ag, Ci-Ag, Pd-Cu, Cu-Cr, and Ci-Ni-Cu. Nickel is shown to be an effective diffusion barrier to copper.

  5. Solar thermoelectricity via advanced latent heat storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, M. L.; Rea, J.; Glatzmaier, G. C.; Hardin, C.; Oshman, C.; Vaughn, J.; Roark, T.; Raade, J. W.; Bradshaw, R. W.; Sharp, J.; Avery, A. D.; Bobela, D.; Bonner, R.; Weigand, R.; Campo, D.; Parilla, P. A.; Siegel, N. P.; Toberer, E. S.; Ginley, D. S.

    2016-05-01

    We report on a new modular, dispatchable, and cost-effective solar electricity-generating technology. Solar ThermoElectricity via Advanced Latent heat Storage (STEALS) integrates several state-of-the-art technologies to provide electricity on demand. In the envisioned STEALS system, concentrated sunlight is converted to heat at a solar absorber. The heat is then delivered to either a thermoelectric (TE) module for direct electricity generation, or to charge a phase change material for thermal energy storage, enabling subsequent generation during off-sun hours, or both for simultaneous electricity production and energy storage. The key to making STEALS a dispatchable technology lies in the development of a "thermal valve," which controls when heat is allowed to flow through the TE module, thus controlling when electricity is generated. The current project addresses each of the three major subcomponents, (i) the TE module, (ii) the thermal energy storage system, and (iii) the thermal valve. The project also includes system-level and techno- economic modeling of the envisioned integrated system and will culminate in the demonstration of a laboratory-scale STEALS prototype capable of generating 3kWe.

  6. Development of high-efficiency solar cells on silicon web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meier, D. L.; Greggi, J.; Okeeffe, T. W.; Rai-Choudhury, P.

    1986-01-01

    Work was performed to improve web base material with a goal of obtaining solar cell efficiencies in excess of 18% (AM1). Efforts in this program are directed toward identifying carrier loss mechanisms in web silicon, eliminating or reducing these mechanisms, designing a high efficiency cell structure with the aid of numerical models, and fabricating high efficiency web solar cells. Fabrication techniques must preserve or enhance carrier lifetime in the bulk of the cell and minimize recombination of carriers at the external surfaces. Three completed cells were viewed by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in order to investigate further the relation between structural defects and electrical performance of web cells. Consistent with past TEM examinations, the cell with the highest efficiency (15.0%) had no dislocations but did have 11 twin planes.

  7. Silicon homojunction solar cells via a hydrogen plasma etching process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, S. Q.; Xu, S.; Zhou, H. P.; Wei, D. Y.; Huang, S. Y.; Xu, L. X.; Sern, C. C.; Guo, Y. N.; Khan, S.; Xu, Y.

    2013-03-01

    We report on the one-step formation of an efficient Si homojunction solar cell produced by a simple exposure of p-type Si wafers to low-temperature inductively coupled hydrogen plasma. The formation of oxygen thermal donors during hydrogen plasma treatment is responsible for the conductivity type conversion and the final formation of Si homojunction. The hydrogen plasma etching with suppressed heavy ion bombardment results in a relatively flat surface, which is favourable for deposition of passivation layers such as silicon nitride. The integrated Si homojunction solar cell consisting of Al/p-c-Si/n-c-Si/SiN/Al-grid has demonstrated a maximum photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 13.6%.

  8. Modeling of thin, back-wall silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, C. R.

    1979-01-01

    The performance of silicon solar cells with p-n junctions on the nonilluminated surface (i.e., upside-down or back-wall cells) was calculated. These structures consisted of a uniformly shaped p-type substrate layer, a p(+)-type field layer on the front (illuminated) surface, and a shallow, n-type junction on the back (nonilluminated) surface. A four-layer solar cell model was used to calculate efficiency, open-circuit voltage, and short-circuit current. The effect on performance of p-layer thickness and resistivity was determined. The diffusion length was varied to simulate the effect of radiation damage. The results show that peak initial efficiencies greater than 15 percent are possible for cell thicknesses or 100 micrometers or less. After 10 years of radiation damage in geosynchronous orbit, thin (25 to 50 micrometers thick) cells made from 10 to 100 ohm cm material show the smallest decrease (approximately 10 percent) in performance.

  9. Light trapping in horizontally aligned silicon microwire solar cells.

    PubMed

    Martinsen, Fredrik A; Smeltzer, Benjamin K; Ballato, John; Hawkins, Thomas; Jones, Max; Gibson, Ursula J

    2015-11-30

    In this study, we demonstrate a solar cell design based on horizontally aligned microwires fabricated from 99.98% pure silicon via the molten core fiber drawing method. A similar structure consisting of 50 μm diameter close packed wires (≈ 0.97 packing density) on a Lambertian white back-reflector showed 86 % absorption for incident light of wavelengths up to 850 nm. An array with a packing fraction of 0.35 showed an absorption of 58 % over the same range, demonstrating the potential for effective light trapping. Prototype solar cells were fabricated to demonstrate the concept. Horizontal wire cells offer several advantages as they can be flexible, and partially transparent, and absorb light efficiently over a wide range of incident angles. PMID:26698794

  10. High efficiency silicon nanohole/organic heterojunction hybrid solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, Lei; Wang, Xincai; Zheng, Hongyu; He, Lining; Wang, Hao; Rusli E-mail: erusli@ntu.edu.sg; Yu, Hongyu E-mail: erusli@ntu.edu.sg

    2014-02-03

    High efficiency hybrid solar cells are fabricated based on silicon with a nanohole (SiNH) structure and poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS). The SiNH structure is fabricated using electroless chemical etching with silver catalyst, and the heterojunction is formed by spin coating of PEDOT on the SiNH. The hybrid cells are optimized by varying the hole depth, and a maximum power conversion efficiency of 8.3% is achieved with a hole depth of 1 μm. The SiNH hybrid solar cell exhibits a strong antireflection and light trapping property attributed to the sub-wavelength dimension of the SiNH structure.

  11. Materials requirements for high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, M.

    1985-01-01

    To achieve higher Si solar cell efficiencies (greater than 20%), better single-crystal Si must be produced. It is believed possible to bring Cz (Czochralski) Si up to the same low recombination level as FZ (Float Zone) Si. It is also desirable that solar cell Si meet the following requirements: long minority carrier lifetime (0.2 ohm-cm p-type with tau less than 500 microsec); repeatedly uniform lifetime (not spread from 50 to 1000 microsec); a lifetime that does not decrease during normal device processing; a silicon wafer sheet that is flat and stays throughout normal device processing; uniform and reasonable mechanical strength; and, manufacture at low cost (less than $50/sq m).

  12. Platinum nanoparticle decorated silicon nanowires for efficient solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kui-Qing; Wang, Xin; Wu, Xiao-Ling; Lee, Shuit-Tong

    2009-11-01

    High-density aligned n-type silicon nanowire (SiNW) arrays decorated with discrete 5-10 nm platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) have been fabricated by aqueous electroless Si etching followed by an electroless platinum deposition process. Coating of PtNPs on SiNW sidewalls yielded a substantial enhancement in photoconversion efficiency and an apparent energy conversion efficiency of up to 8.14% for the PtNP-decorated SiNW-based photoelectrochemical solar cell using a liquid electrolyte containing Br(-)/Br(2) redox couple. The results demonstrate PtNP-decorated SiNWs to be a promising hybrid system for solar energy conversion. PMID:19807069

  13. Process development for single-crystal silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohra, Mihir H.

    Solar energy is a viable, rapidly growing and an important renewable alternative to other sources of energy generation because of its abundant supply and low manufacturing cost. Silicon still remains the major contributor for manufacturing solar cells accounting for 80% of the market share. Of this, single-crystal solar cells account for half of the share. Laboratory cells have demonstrated 25% efficiency; however, commercial cells have efficiencies of 16% - 20% resulting from a focus on implementation processes geared to rapid throughput and low cost, thereby reducing the energy pay-back time. An example would be the use of metal pastes which dissolve the dielectric during the firing process as opposed to lithographically defined contacts. With current trends of single-crystal silicon photovoltaic (PV) module prices down to 0.60/W, almost all other PV technologies are challenged to remain cost competitive. This presents a unique opportunity in revisiting the PV cell fabrication process and incorporating moderately more expensive IC process practices into PV manufacturing. While they may drive the cost toward a 1/W benchmark, there is substantial room to "experiment", leading to higher efficiencies which will help maintain the overall system cost. This work entails a turn-key process designed to provide a platform for rapid evaluation of novel materials and processes. A two-step lithographic process yielding a baseline 11% - 13% efficient cell is described. Results of three studies have shown improvements in solar cell output parameters due to the inclusion of a back-surface field implant, a higher emitter doping and also an additional RCA Clean.

  14. Study of the Effects of Impurities on the Properties of Silicon Materials and Performance of Silicon Solar Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sah, C. T.

    1979-01-01

    Numerical solutions were obtained from the exact one dimensional transmission line circuit model to study the following effects on the terrestrial performance of silicon solar cells: interband Auger recombination; surface recombination at the contact interfaces; enhanced metallic impurity solubility; diffusion profiles; and defect-impurity recombination centers. Thermal recombination parameters of titanium impurity in silicon were estimated from recent experimental data. Based on those parameters, computer model calculations showed that titanium concentration must be kept below 6x10 to the 12th power Ti/cu cm in order to achieve 16% AM1 efficiency in a silicon solar cell of 250 micrometers thick and 1.5 ohm-cm resistivity.

  15. Tailoring the Optical Properties of Silicon with Ion Beam Created Nanostructures for Advanced Photonics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhter, Perveen

    In today's fast life, energy consumption has increased more than ever and with that the demand for a renewable and cleaner energy source as a substitute for the fossil fuels has also increased. Solar radiations are the ultimate source of energy but harvesting this energy in a cost effective way is a challenging task. Si is the dominating material for microelectronics and photovoltaics. But owing to its indirect band gap, Si is an inefficient light absorber, thus requiring a thickness of solar cells beyond tens of microns which increases the cost of solar energy. Therefore, techniques to increase light absorption in thin film Si solar cells are of great importance and have been the focus of research for a few decades now. Another big issue of technology in this fast-paced world is the computing rate or data transfer rate between components of a chip in ultra-fast processors. Existing electronic interconnects suffering from the signal delays and heat generation issues are unable to handle high data rates. A possible solution to this problem is in replacing the electronic interconnects with optical interconnects which have large data carrying capacity. However, optical components are limited in size by the fundamental laws of diffraction to about half a wavelength of light and cannot be combined with nanoscale electronic components. Tremendous research efforts have been directed in search of an advanced technology which can bridge the size gap between electronic and photonic worlds. An emerging technology of "plasmonics'' which exploits the extraordinary optical properties of metal nanostructures to tailor the light at nanoscale has been considered a potential solution to both of the above-mentioned problems. Research conducted for this dissertation has an overall goal to investigate the optical properties of silicon with metal nanostructures for photovoltaics and advanced silicon photonics applications. The first part of the research focuses on achieving enhanced

  16. Crystalline Silicon/Graphene Oxide Hybrid Junction Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qiming; Wanatabe, Fumiya; Hoshino, Aya; Ishikawa, Ryo; Gotou, Takuya; Ueno, Keiji; Shirai, Hajime

    2012-10-01

    Soluble graphene oxide (GO) and plasma-reduced (pr-) GO were investigated using crystalline silicon (c-Si) (100)/GO/pr-GO hybrid junction solar cells. Their photovoltaic performances were compared with those of c-Si/GO/pristine conductive poly(ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) heterojunction and c-Si/PEDOT:PSS:GO composite devices. The c-Si/GO/pr-GO and conductive PEDOT:PSS/Al heterojunction solar cells showed power conversion efficiencies of 6.5 and 8.2%, respectively, under illumination with AM 1.5 G 100 mW/cm2 simulated solar light. A higher performance of 10.7% was achieved using the PEDOT:PSS:GO (12.5 wt %) composite device. These findings imply that soluble GO, pr-GO, and the PEDOT:PSS:GO composite are promising materials as hole transport and transparent conductive layers for c-Si/organic hybrid junction solar cells.

  17. Raman spectroscopy of PIN hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keya, Kimitaka; Torigoe, Yoshihiro; Toko, Susumu; Yamashita, Daisuke; Seo, Hyunwoong; Itagaki, Naho; Koga, Kazunori; Shiratani, Masaharu

    2015-09-01

    Light-induced degradation of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is a key issue for enhancing competitiveness in solar cell market. A-Si:H films with a lower density of Si-H2 bonds shows higher stability. Here we identified Si-H2 bonds in PIN a-Si:H solar cells fabricated by plasma CVD using Raman spectroscopy. A-Si:H solar cell has a structure of B-doped μc-SiC:H (12.5 nm)/ non-doped a-Si:H (250nm)/ P-doped μc-Si:H (40 nm) on glass substrates (Asahi-VU). By irradiating HeNe laser light from N-layer, peaks correspond to Si-H2 bonds (2100 cm-1) and Si-H bonds (2000 cm-1) have been identified in Raman scattering spectra. The intensity ratio of Si-H2 and Si-H ISiH2/ISiH is found to correlate well to light induced degradation of the cells Therefore, Raman spectroscopy is a promising method for studying origin of light-induced degradation of PIN solar cells.

  18. Optimization methods and silicon solar cell numerical models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Girardini, K.; Jacobsen, S. E.

    1986-01-01

    An optimization algorithm for use with numerical silicon solar cell models was developed. By coupling an optimization algorithm with a solar cell model, it is possible to simultaneously vary design variables such as impurity concentrations, front junction depth, back junction depth, and cell thickness to maximize the predicted cell efficiency. An optimization algorithm was developed and interfaced with the Solar Cell Analysis Program in 1 Dimension (SCAP1D). SCAP1D uses finite difference methods to solve the differential equations which, along with several relations from the physics of semiconductors, describe mathematically the performance of a solar cell. A major obstacle is that the numerical methods used in SCAP1D require a significant amount of computer time, and during an optimization the model is called iteratively until the design variables converge to the values associated with the maximum efficiency. This problem was alleviated by designing an optimization code specifically for use with numerically intensive simulations, to reduce the number of times the efficiency has to be calculated to achieve convergence to the optimal solution.

  19. Direct glass bonded high specific power silicon solar cells for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dinetta, L. C.; Rand, J. A.; Cummings, J. R.; Lampo, S. M.; Shreve, K. P.; Barnett, Allen M.

    1991-01-01

    A lightweight, radiation hard, high performance, ultra-thin silicon solar cell is described that incorporates light trapping and a cover glass as an integral part of the device. The manufacturing feasibility of high specific power, radiation insensitive, thin silicon solar cells was demonstrated experimentally and with a model. Ultra-thin, light trapping structures were fabricated and the light trapping demonstrated experimentally. The design uses a micro-machined, grooved back surface to increase the optical path length by a factor of 20. This silicon solar cell will be highly tolerant to radiation because the base width is less than 25 microns making it insensitive to reduction in minority carrier lifetime. Since the silicon is bonded without silicone adhesives, this solar cell will also be insensitive to UV degradation. These solar cells are designed as a form, fit, and function replacement for existing state of the art silicon solar cells with the effect of simultaneously increasing specific power, power/area, and power supply life. Using a 3-mil thick cover glass and a 0.3 g/sq cm supporting Al honeycomb, a specific power for the solar cell plus cover glass and honeycomb of 80.2 W/Kg is projected. The development of this technology can result in a revolutionary improvement in high survivability silicon solar cell products for space with the potential to displace all existing solar cell technologies for single junction space applications.

  20. Quantitative Analysis of Defects in Silicon. [to predict energy conversion efficiency of silicon samples for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Natesh, R.; Smith, J. M.; Qidwai, H. A.; Bruce, T.

    1979-01-01

    The evaluation and prediction of the conversion efficiency for a variety of silicon samples with differences in structural defects, such as grain boundaries, twin boundaries, precipitate particles, dislocations, etc. are discussed. Quantitative characterization of these structural defects, which were revealed by etching the surface of silicon samples, is performed by using an image analyzer. Due to different crystal growth and fabrication techniques the various types of silicon contain a variety of trace impurity elements and structural defects. The two most important criteria in evaluating the various silicon types for solar cell applications are cost and conversion efficiency.

  1. Light harvesting of silicon nanostructure for solar cells application.

    PubMed

    Li, Yingfeng; Yue, Luo; Luo, Younan; Liu, Wenjian; Li, Meicheng

    2016-07-11

    Silicon nanostructures have light-harvesting effects for enhancing the performance of solar cells. Based on theoretical investigations on the optical properties of silicon nanowire (Si NW), the influencing laws of the size of Si NW on its light-harvesting effect are proposed. For the first time, we reveal that the resonant wavelength of Si NW predicted by the leaky mode theory does not correspond to the actual resonant wavelength calculated by the discrete dipole approximation method, but exactly coincides with the leftmost wavelength of the resonance peak. Then, the size dependency of the resonant intensity and width of Si NW is different from that of spherical nanoparticles, which can be deduced from the Mie theory. The size dependencies of resonant intensity and width are also applicative for silver/silicon composite nanowires. In addition, it is found that the harvested light by the Si and Ag/Si NW both show significant radial locality feature. The insight in this work is fundamental for the design and fabrication of efficient light -harvesting nanostructures for photovoltaic devices. PMID:27410895

  2. Processes for producing low cost, high efficiency silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Rohatgi, Ajeet; Doshi, Parag; Tate, John Keith; Mejia, Jose; Chen, Zhizhang

    1998-06-16

    Processes which utilize rapid thermal processing (RTP) are provided for inexpensively producing high efficiency silicon solar cells. The RTP processes preserve minority carrier bulk lifetime .tau. and permit selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions, including emitter and back surface field (bsf), within the silicon substrate. In a first RTP process, an RTP step is utilized to simultaneously diffuse phosphorus and aluminum into the front and back surfaces, respectively, of a silicon substrate. Moreover, an in situ controlled cooling procedure preserves the carrier bulk lifetime .tau. and permits selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions. In a second RTP process, both simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum as well as annealing of the front and back contacts are accomplished during the RTP step. In a third RTP process, the RTP step accomplishes simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum, annealing of the contacts, and annealing of a double-layer antireflection/passivation coating SiN/SiO.sub.x. In a fourth RTP process, the process of applying front and back contacts is broken up into two separate respective steps, which enhances the efficiency of the cells, at a slight time expense. In a fifth RTP process, a second RTP step is utilized to fire and adhere the screen printed or evaporated contacts to the structure.

  3. Processes for producing low cost, high efficiency silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Rohatgi, A.; Doshi, P.; Tate, J.K.; Mejia, J.; Chen, Z.

    1998-06-16

    Processes which utilize rapid thermal processing (RTP) are provided for inexpensively producing high efficiency silicon solar cells. The RTP processes preserve minority carrier bulk lifetime {tau} and permit selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions, including emitter and back surface field (bsf), within the silicon substrate. In a first RTP process, an RTP step is utilized to simultaneously diffuse phosphorus and aluminum into the front and back surfaces, respectively, of a silicon substrate. Moreover, an in situ controlled cooling procedure preserves the carrier bulk lifetime {tau} and permits selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions. In a second RTP process, both simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum as well as annealing of the front and back contacts are accomplished during the RTP step. In a third RTP process, the RTP step accomplishes simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum, annealing of the contacts, and annealing of a double-layer antireflection/passivation coating SiN/SiO{sub x}. In a fourth RTP process, the process of applying front and back contacts is broken up into two separate respective steps, which enhances the efficiency of the cells, at a slight time expense. In a fifth RTP process, a second RTP step is utilized to fire and adhere the screen printed or evaporated contacts to the structure. 28 figs.

  4. Burst annealing of electron damage in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Day, A. C.; Horne, W. E.; Thompson, M. A.; Lancaster, C. A.

    1985-01-01

    A study has been performed of burst annealing of electron damage in silicon solar cells. Three groups of cells consisting of 3 and 0.3 ohm-cm silicon were exposed to fluences of 2 x 10 to the 14th power, 4 x 10 to the 14th power, and 8 x 10 to the 14th power 1-MeV electrons/sq cm, respectively. They were subsequently subjected to 1-minute bursts of annealing at 500 C. The 3 ohm-cm cells showed complete recovery from each fluence level. The 0.3 ohm-cm cells showed complete recovery from the 2 x 10 to the 14th power e/sq cm fluence; however, some of the 0.3 ohm-cm cells did not recover completely from the higher influences. From an analysis of the results it is concluded that burst annealing of moderate to high resistivity silicon cell arrays in space is feasible and that with more complete understanding, even the potentially higher efficiency low resistivity cells may be usable in annealable arrays in space.

  5. Plasma-enhanced CVD silicon nitride antireflection coatings for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, C. C.; Wydeven, T.; Donohoe, K.

    1983-01-01

    Multilayer plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) silicon nitride antireflection coatings were deposited on space quality silicon solar cells. Preliminary experiments indicated that multilayer coatings decreased the total reflectance of polished silicon from 35 percent to less than 3 percent over the spectral range 0.4-1.0 micron. The solar cell energy conversion efficiency was increased from an average of 8.84 percent to an average of 12.63 percent.

  6. Solar cells and modules from dentritic web silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, R. B.; Rohatgi, A.; Seman, E. J.; Davis, J. R.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Gallagher, B. D.

    1980-01-01

    Some of the noteworthy features of the processes developed in the fabrication of solar cell modules are the handling of long lengths of web, the use of cost effective dip coating of photoresist and antireflection coatings, selective electroplating of the grid pattern and ultrasonic bonding of the cell interconnect. Data on the cells is obtained by means of dark I-V analysis and deep level transient spectroscopy. A histogram of over 100 dentritic web solar cells fabricated in a number of runs using different web crystals shows an average efficiency of over 13%, with some efficiencies running above 15%. Lower cell efficiency is generally associated with low minority carrier time due to recombination centers sometimes present in the bulk silicon. A cost analysis of the process sequence using a 25 MW production line indicates a selling price of $0.75/peak watt in 1986. It is concluded that the efficiency of dentritic web cells approaches that of float zone silicon cells, reduced somewhat by the lower bulk lifetime of the former.

  7. Wide-bandgap epitaxial heterojunction windows for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Loferski, Joseph J.; Beaulieu, Roland; Sekula-Moise, Patricia A.; Vernon, Stanley M.

    1990-01-01

    It is shown that the efficiency of a solar cell can be improved if minority carriers are confined by use of a wide-bandgap heterojunction window. For silicon (lattice constant a = 5.43 A), nearly lattice-matched wide-bandgap materials are ZnS (a = 5.41 A) and GaP (a = 5.45 A). Isotype n-n heterojuntions of both ZnS/Si and GaP/Si were grown on silicon n-p homojunction solar cells. Successful deposition processes used were metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MO-CVD) for GaP and ZnS, and vacuum evaporation of ZnS. Planar (100) and (111) and texture-etched - (111)-faceted - surfaces were used. A decrease in minority-carrier surface recombination compared to a bare surface was seen from increased short-wavelength spectral response, increased open-circuit voltage, and reduced dark saturation current, with no degradation of the minority carrier diffusion length.

  8. Synchrotron X-ray imaging applied to solar photovoltaic silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafford, T. A.; Villanova, J.; Plassat, N.; Dubois, S.; Camel, D.

    2013-03-01

    Photovoltaic (PV) cell performance is dictated by the material of the cell, its quality and purity, the type, quantity, size and distribution of defects, as well as surface treatments, deposited layers and contacts. A synchrotron offers unique opportunities for a variety of complementary X-ray techniques, given the brilliance, spectrum, energy tunability and potential for (sub-) micron-sized beams. Material properties are revealed within in the bulk and at surfaces and interfaces. X-ray Diffraction Imaging (X-ray Topography), Rocking Curve Imaging and Section Topography reveal defects such as dislocations, inclusions, misorientations and strain in the bulk and at surfaces. Simultaneous measurement of micro-X-Ray Fluorescence (μ-XRF) and micro-X-ray Beam Induced Current (μ-XBIC) gives direct correlation between impurities and PV performance. Together with techniques such as microscopy and Light Beam Induced Current (LBIC) measurements, the correlation between structural properties and photovoltaic performance can be deduced, as well as the relative influence of parameters such as defect type, size, spatial distribution and density (e.g [1]). Measurements may be applied at different stages of solar cell processing in order to follow the evolution of the material and its properties through the manufacturing process. Various grades of silicon are under study, including electronic and metallurgical grades in mono-crystalline, multi-crystalline and mono-like forms. This paper aims to introduce synchrotron imaging to non-specialists, giving example results on selected solar photovoltaic silicon samples.

  9. III-V/silicon germanium tandem solar cells on silicon substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmieder, Kenneth J.

    The development of a cost-effective high voltage tandem solar cell that can be grown directly on a silicon (Si) platform can lead to a 34% increase in efficiency over the present best monocrystalline Si laboratory device. III-V devices are known to yield some of the highest efficiencies in photovoltaics, but the high cost of lattice matched substrates and metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and device development make them prohibitively expensive in many markets. By utilizing silicon substrates and limiting the thickness of the III-V MOCVD material growth, this cost can be reduced. The leveraging technology of this initiative is a metamorphic silicon:germanium (SiGe) buffer between the silicon substrate and the active device layers. As developed by AmberWave Inc., it provides a low-dislocation interface for III-V nucleation and a high quality bottom cell grown by reduced pressure chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD). This research first reports on the theoretical limits of a III-V/SiGe tandem solar cell. Results will evaluate multiple III-V materials for the determination of optimal material composition to be lattice-matched with SiGe. Following this, a more complex device simulation, incorporating all major loss mechanisms, is accomplished in order to predict ideal efficiency targets and evaluate present experimental structures. Results demonstrate a robust model capable of simulating a wide range of binary and ternary III-V devices. Predictions show the capability of a tandem device operating at 32.5% 1-sun efficiency without requiring TDD improvement beyond that of the present SiGe layers. Following simulations, experimental III-V structures are grown via MOCVD and characterized, indicating successful process development for growth of III-V materials on the SiGe platform. This growth is then validated via the design and development of experimental solar device structures. Each iteration, beginning with the single-junction windowless GaAsP solar cell and

  10. Amorphous-silicon thin-film heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Cretella, M. C.; Gregory, J. A.; Sandstrom, D. B.; Paul, W.

    1981-01-01

    The investigation of amorphous silicon materials at MTSEC has had two major thrusts: (1) to improve the amorphous material, i.e., obtain a low state density in the gap, improve the carrier collection depth and diminish non-radiative recombinations; and (2) to attempt to understand and improve on the limitations of the junction devices while evaluating the amorphous silicon materials. In the first of these efforts, the investigation has continued to examine the modifications to the a-Si(H) network by alloying silicon with other group IVA elements, either in binary or ternary compositions, and/or by replacing the hydrogenation for defect compensation with a combination of hydrogenation and alkylation or hydrogenation and halogenation. The doped junction layers are being examined in an attempt to determine the limiting characteristics of the junctions in solar cell devices of these amorphous materials. Amorphous alloys of Si-Ge, Si-C, Si-Sn were prepared as well as ternary compositions of Si-Ge-C and Si-Sn-C. In addition, Na vapor was added to the gas feed to deposit a-Si(Na, H) films, and to prepare Si-Sn, fluoride was added along with the tin by vapor additions of SnF/sub 4/ to the gas feed. The optical properties of these materials were measured, and structural and compositional information was obtained from the IR vibrational spectra using the scanning electron microscope and from analyses using scanning Auger microscopy. Electrical measurements have included the dark conductivity and the photo conductivity under room fluorescent light and at AM1 conditions. With alloys that displayed promising photoconductive properties n-i-p devices were prepared to assess the solar cell properties. Details are presented. (WHK)

  11. Silicon materials task of the low cost solar array project, part 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Blais, P. D.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1976-01-01

    Purity requirements for solar cell grade silicon material was developed and defined by evaluating the effects of specific impurities and impurity levels on the performance of silicon solar cells. Also, data was generated forming the basis for cost-tradeoff analyses of silicon solar cell material. Growth, evaluation, solar cell fabrication and testing was completed for the baseline boron-doped Czochralski material. Measurements indicate Cn and Mn seriously degrade cell performance, while neither Ni nor Cu produce any serious reduction in cell efficiency.

  12. Microwave processing of silicon nitride for advanced gas turbine applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tiegs, T.N.; Kiggans, J.O.

    1993-04-01

    Results from previous studies on microwave processing of silicon nitride-based ceramics are reviewed to ascertain the application of this technology to advanced gas turbine (AGT) materials. Areas of microwave processing that have been examined in the past are (1) sintering of powder compacts; (2) heat treatment of dense materials; and (3) nitridation of Si for reactionbonded silicon nitride. The sintering of Si{sub 3}N{sub 4} powder compacts showed improved densification and enhanced grain growth. However, the high additive levels required to produce crack-free parts generally limit these materials to low temperature applications. Improved high-temperature creep resistance has been observed for microwave heat-treated materials and therefore has application to materials used in highly demanding service conditions. In contrast to Si{sub 3}N{sub 4}, Si couples well in the microwave and sintered reaction-bonded silicon nitride materials have been fabricated in a one-step process with cost-effective raw materials. However, these materials are also limited to lower temperature applications, under about 1000{degrees}C.

  13. Microwave processing of silicon nitride for advanced gas turbine applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tiegs, T.N.; Kiggans, J.O.

    1993-01-01

    Results from previous studies on microwave processing of silicon nitride-based ceramics are reviewed to ascertain the application of this technology to advanced gas turbine (AGT) materials. Areas of microwave processing that have been examined in the past are (1) sintering of powder compacts; (2) heat treatment of dense materials; and (3) nitridation of Si for reactionbonded silicon nitride. The sintering of Si[sub 3]N[sub 4] powder compacts showed improved densification and enhanced grain growth. However, the high additive levels required to produce crack-free parts generally limit these materials to low temperature applications. Improved high-temperature creep resistance has been observed for microwave heat-treated materials and therefore has application to materials used in highly demanding service conditions. In contrast to Si[sub 3]N[sub 4], Si couples well in the microwave and sintered reaction-bonded silicon nitride materials have been fabricated in a one-step process with cost-effective raw materials. However, these materials are also limited to lower temperature applications, under about 1000[degrees]C.

  14. Subcritical crack-growth behavior in advanced silicon nitride ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatnagar, Ajay

    Advanced silicon nitride ceramics (Sisb3Nsb4) are leading candidates for structural components in gas turbine and reciprocating engines. However, widespread use of these materials has been deterred due to their low fracture toughness under tensile loads. In the last decade, novel processing techniques have allowed extrinsic toughening of this material through grain bridging processes. The extrinsic toughening mechanisms, however, are prone to subcritical crack-growth processes through environmental, mechanical and high temperature degradation mechanisms. Understanding these failure mechanisms is critical for long term reliability and design. In the first part of this study, fracture and environmentally-assisted subcritical crack-growth processes were examined in bulk Y-Si-Al-O-N oxynitride glasses with compositions typical of the grain boundary phase of silicon nitride ceramics. Both long crack as well as short crack behavior were investigated to establish a reliable fracture toughness value and to elucidate the anomalous densification behavior of the oxynitride glass under indentation loads. Environmentally assisted subcritical crack-growth processes were studied in inert, moist and wet environments under both cyclic and static loading conditions and compared to commercial soda lime and borosilicate glasses. The second part of this study involved the effect of loading, microstructure and temperature on subcritical crack-growth behavior in silicon nitride ceramics. Crack-growth rates under an alternating applied stress intensity were compared to those under static loads. The effect of microstructure on fatigue crack-growth rates was determined in silicon nitrides sintered using different processing techniques and with different grain sizes. Unique experimental techniques were used to determine subcritical crack-growth behavior from room temperature to elevated temperatures of 1250sp°C. Frictional wear models were used to explain the trends in experimental data at

  15. Silver Nanoparticle Enhanced Freestanding Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winans, Joshua David

    As the supply of fossil fuels diminishes in quantity the demand for alternative energy sources will consistently increase. Solar cells are an environmentally friendly and proven technology that suffer in sales due to a large upfront cost. In order to help facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to photovoltaics, module costs must be reduced to prices well below $1/Watt. Thin-film solar cells are more affordable because of the reduced materials costs, but lower in efficiency because less light is absorbed before passing through the cell. Silver nanoparticles placed at the front surface of the solar cell absorb and reradiate the energy of the light in ways such that more of the light ends being captured by the silicon. Silver nanoparticles can do this because they have free electron clouds that can take on the energy of an incident photon through collective action. This bulk action of the electrons is called a plasmon. This work begins by discussing the economics driving the need for reduced material use, and the pros and cons of taking this step. Next, the fundamental theory of light-matter interaction is briefly described followed by an introduction to the study of plasmonics. Following that we discuss a traditional method of silver nanoparticle formation and the initial experimental studies of their effects on the ability of thin-film silicon to absorb light. Then, Finite-Difference Time-Domain simulation software is used to simulate the effects of nanoparticle morphology and size on the scattering of light at the surface of the thin-film.

  16. Influence of black silicon surfaces on the performance of back-contacted back silicon heterojunction solar cells.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, Johannes; Haschke, Jan; Käsebier, Thomas; Korte, Lars; Sprafke, Alexander N; Wehrspohn, Ralf B

    2014-10-20

    The influence of different black silicon (b-Si) front side textures prepared by inductively coupled reactive ion etching (ICP-RIE) on the performance of back-contacted back silicon heterojunction (BCB-SHJ) solar cells is investigated in detail regarding their optical performance, black silicon surface passivation and internal quantum efficiency. Under optimized conditions the effective minority carrier lifetime measured on black silicon surfaces passivated with Al(2)O(3) can be higher than lifetimes measured for the SiO(2)/SiN(x) passivation stack used in the reference cells with standard KOH textures. However, to outperform the electrical current of silicon back-contact cells, the black silicon back-contact cell process needs to be optimized with aspect to chemical and thermal stability of the used dielectric layer combination on the cell. PMID:25607304

  17. The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope enclosure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phelps, L.; Barr, J.; Dalrymple, N.; Fraser, M.; Hubbard, R.; Wagner, J.; Warner, M.

    2006-06-01

    Telescope enclosure design is based on an increasingly standard set of criteria. Enclosures must provide failsafe protection in a harsh environment for an irreplaceable piece of equipment; must allow effective air flushing to minimize local seeing while still attenuating wind-induced vibration of the telescope; must reliably operate so that the dome is never the reason for observatory down time; must provide access to utilities, lifting devices and support facilities; and they must be affordable within the overall project budget. The enclosure for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) has to satisfy all these challenging requirements plus one more. To eliminate so-called external dome seeing, the exterior surfaces of the enclosure must be maintained at or just below ambient air temperature while being subjected to the full solar loading of an observing day. Further complicating the design of the ATST enclosure and support facilities are the environmental sensitivities and high construction costs at the selected site - the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Previous development work has determined an appropriate enclosure shape to minimize solar exposure while allowing effective interior flushing, and has demonstrated the feasibility of controlling the exterior skin temperature with an active cooling system. This paper presents the evolution of the design since site selection and how the enclosure and associated thermal systems have been tailored to the particular climatic and terrain conditions of the site. Also discussed are load-reduction strategies that have been identified through thermal modeling, CFD modeling, and other analyses to refine and economize the thermal control systems.

  18. Development of Solar Grade (SoG) Silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Joyce, David B; Schmid, Frederick

    2008-01-18

    The rapid growth of the photovoltaics (PV) industry is threatened by the ongoing shortage of suitable solar grade (SoG) silicon. Until 2004, the PV industry relied on the off spec polysilicon from the electronics industry for feedstock. The rapid growth of PV meant that the demand for SoG silicon predictably surpassed this supply. The long-term prospects for PV are very bright as costs have come down, and efficiencies and economies of scale make PV generated electricity ever more competitive with grid electricity. However, the scalability of the current process for producing poly silicon again threatens the future. A less costly, higher volume production technique is needed to supply the long-term growth of the PV industry, and to reduce costs of PV even further. This long-term need was the motivation behind this SBIR proposal. Upgrading metallurgical grade (MG) silicon would fulfill the need for a low-cost, large-scale production. Past attempts to upgrade MG silicon have foundered/failed/had trouble reducing the low segregation coefficient elements, B, P, and Al. Most other elements in MG silicon can be purified very efficiently by directional solidification. Thus, in the Phase I program, Crystal Systems proposed a variety of techniques to reduce B, P, and Al in MG silicon to produce a low cost commercial technique for upgrading MG silicon. Of the variety of techniques tried, vacuum refining and some slagging and additions turned out to be the most promising. These were pursued in the Phase II study. By vacuum refining, the P was reduced from 14 to 0.22 ppmw and the Al was reduced from 370 ppmw to 0.065 ppmw. This process was scaled to 40 kg scale charges, and the results were expressed in terms of half-life, or time to reduce the impurity concentration in half. Best half-lives were 2 hours, typical were 4 hours. Scaling factors were developed to allow prediction of these results to larger scale melts. The vacuum refining required the development of new crucibles

  19. High Efficiency Hybrid Silicon Nanopillar-Polymer Solar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pudasaini, Pushpa Raj; Ruiz-Zepeda, Francisco; Sharma, Manisha; Elam, David; Ponce, Arturo; Ayon, Arturo A

    2014-01-01

    Recently, inorganic/organic hybrid solar cells have been considered as a viable alternative for low-cost photovoltaic devices because the Schottky junction between inorganic and organic materials can be formed employing low temperature processing methods. We present an efficient hybrid solar cell based on highly ordered silicon nanopillars (SiNPs) and poly (3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS). The proposed device is formed by spin coating the organic polymer PEDOT:PSS on a SiNP array fabricated using metal assisted electroless chemical etching process. The characteristics of the hybrid solar cells are investigated as a function of SiNP height. A maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.65% has been achieved for an optimized SiNP array hybrid solar cell with nanopillar height of 400 nm, despite the absence of a back surface field enhancement. The effect of an ultrathin atomic layer deposition (ALD), grown aluminum oxide (Al2O3), as a passivation layer (recombination barrier) has also been studied for the enhanced electrical performance of the device. With the inclusion of the ultrathin ALD deposited Al2O3 between the SiNP array textured surface and the PEDOT:PSS layer, the PCE of the fabricated device was observed to increase to 10.56%, which is ~10% greater than the corresponding device without the Al2O3 layer. The device described herein is considered to be promising toward the realization of a low-cost, high-efficiency inorganic/organic hybrid solar cell. PMID:24032746

  20. High efficiency hybrid silicon nanopillar-polymer solar cells.

    PubMed

    Pudasaini, Pushpa Raj; Ruiz-Zepeda, Francisco; Sharma, Manisha; Elam, David; Ponce, Arturo; Ayon, Arturo A

    2013-10-01

    Recently, inorganic/organic hybrid solar cells have been considered as a viable alternative for low-cost photovoltaic devices because the Schottky junction between inorganic and organic materials can be formed employing low temperature processing methods. We present an efficient hybrid solar cell based on highly ordered silicon nanopillars (SiNPs) and poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS). The proposed device is formed by spin coating the organic polymer PEDOT:PSS on a SiNP array fabricated using metal assisted electroless chemical etching process. The characteristics of the hybrid solar cells are investigated as a function of SiNP height. A maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.65% has been achieved for an optimized SiNP array hybrid solar cell with nanopillar height of 400 nm, despite the absence of a back surface field enhancement. The effect of an ultrathin atomic layer deposition (ALD), grown aluminum oxide (Al2O3), as a passivation layer (recombination barrier) has also been studied for the enhanced electrical performance of the device. With the inclusion of the ultrathin ALD deposited Al2O3 between the SiNP array textured surface and the PEDOT:PSS layer, the PCE of the fabricated device was observed to increase to 10.56%, which is ∼10% greater than the corresponding device without the Al2O3 layer. The device described herein is considered to be promising toward the realization of a low-cost, high-efficiency inorganic/organic hybrid solar cell. PMID:24032746

  1. National solar technology roadmap: Film-silicon PV

    SciTech Connect

    Keyes, Brian

    2007-06-01

    Silicon photovoltaic (PV) technologies are addressed in two different technology roadmaps: Film-Silicon PV and Wafer-Silicon PV. This Film-Silicon PV roadmap applies to all silicon-film technologies that rely on a supporting substrate such as glass, polymer, aluminum, stainless steel, or metallurgical-grade silicon. Such devices typically use amorphous, nanocrystalline, fine-grained polycrystalline, or epitaxial silicon layers that are 1–20 μm thick.

  2. Improved performance of microcrystalline silicon solar cell with graded-band-gap silicon oxide buffer layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zhen-Liang; Ji, Yun; Yu, Wei; Yang, Yan-Bin; Cong, Ri-Dong; Chen, Ying-Juan; Li, Xiao-Wei; Fu, Guang-Sheng

    2015-07-01

    Microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) solar cell with graded band gap microcrystalline silicon oxide (μc-SiOx:H) buffer layer is prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and exhibits improved performance compared with the cell without it. The buffer layer moderates the band gap mismatch by reducing the barrier of the p/i interface, which promotes the nucleation of the i-layer and effectively eliminates the incubation layer, and then enhances the collection efficiency of the cell in the short wavelength region of the spectrum. The p/i interface defect density also decreases from 2.2 × 1012 cm-2 to 5.0 × 1011 cm-2. This graded buffer layer allows to simplify the deposition process for the μc-Si:H solar cell application. Project supported by the Key Basic Research Project of Hebei Province, China (Grant Nos. 12963930D and 12963929D), the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, China (Grant Nos. F2013201250 and E2012201059), and the Science and Technology Research Projects of the Education Department of Hebei Province, China (Grant No. ZH2012030).

  3. Radial junction amorphous silicon solar cells on PECVD-grown silicon nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Linwei; O'Donnell, Benedict; Foldyna, Martin; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca i.

    2012-05-01

    Constructing radial junction hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells on top of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) represents a promising approach towards high performance and cost-effective thin film photovoltaics. We here develop an all-in situ strategy to grow SiNWs, via a vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism on top of ZnO-coated glass substrate, in a plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) reactor. Controlling the distribution of indium catalyst drops allows us to tailor the as-grown SiNW arrays into suitable size and density, which in turn results in both a sufficient light trapping effect and a suitable arrangement allowing for conformal coverage of SiNWs by subsequent a-Si:H layers. We then demonstrate the fabrication of radial junction solar cells and carry on a parametric study designed to shed light on the absorption and quantum efficiency response, as functions of the intrinsic a-Si:H layer thickness and the density of SiNWs. These results lay a solid foundation for future structural optimization and performance ramp-up of the radial junction thin film a-Si:H photovoltaics.

  4. Low cost silicon solar array project large area silicon sheet task: Silicon web process development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Mchugh, J. P.; Blais, P. D.; Davis, J. R., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Growth configurations were developed which produced crystals having low residual stress levels. The properties of a 106 mm diameter round crucible were evaluated and it was found that this design had greatly enhanced temperature fluctuations arising from convection in the melt. Thermal modeling efforts were directed to developing finite element models of the 106 mm round crucible and an elongated susceptor/crucible configuration. Also, the thermal model for the heat loss modes from the dendritic web was examined for guidance in reducing the thermal stress in the web. An economic analysis was prepared to evaluate the silicon web process in relation to price goals.

  5. Silicon materials task of the low cost solar array project. Phase 3: Effect of impurities and processing on silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Blais, P. D.; Rohatgi, A.; Campbell, R. B.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The 13th quarterly report of a study entitled an Investigation of the Effects of Impurities and Processing on Silicon Solar Cells is given. The objective of the program is to define the effects of impurities, various thermochemical processes and any impurity-process interactions on the performance of terrestrial silicon solar cells. The Phase 3 program effort falls in five areas: (1) cell processing studies; (2) completion of the data base and impurity-performance modeling for n-base cells; (3) extension of p-base studies to include contaminants likely to be introduced during silicon production, refining or crystal growth; (4) anisotropy effects; and (5) a preliminary study of the permanence of impurity effects in silicon solar cells. The quarterly activities for this report focus on tasks (1), (3) and (4).

  6. Development of thin wraparound junction silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, F.; Iles, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    The state of the art technologies was applied to fabricate 50 micro thick 2x4 cm, coplanar back contact (CBC) solar cells with AMO efficiency above 12%. A requirement was that the cells have low solar absorptance. A wraparound junction (WAJ) with wraparound metallization was chosen. This WAJ approach avoided the need for very complex fixturing, especially during rotation of the cells for providing adequate contacts over dielectric edge layers. The contact adhesion to silicon was considered better than to an insulator. It is indicated that shunt resistance caused by poor WAJ diode quality, and series resistance from the WAJ contact, give good cell performance. The cells developed reached 14 percent AMO efficiency (at 25 C), with solar absorptance values of 0.73. Space/cell environmental tests were performed on these cells and the thin CSC cells performed well. The optimized design configuration and process sequence were used to make 50 deliverable CBC cells. These cells were all above 12 percent efficiency and had an average efficiency of -13 percent. Results of environmental tests (humidity-temperature, thermal shock, and contact adherence) are also given.

  7. Transparent electrodes in silicon heterojunction solar cells: Influence on contact passivation

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi, Andrea; Sahli, Florent; Seif, Johannes Peter; Fanni, Lorenzo; de Nicolas Agut, Silvia Martin; Geissbuhler, Jonas; Paviet-Salomon, Bertrand; Nicolay, Sylvain; Barraud, Loris; Niesen, Bjoern; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2015-10-26

    Charge carrier collection in silicon heterojunction solar cells occurs via intrinsic/doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer stacks deposited on the crystalline silicon wafer surfaces. Usually, both the electron and hole collecting stacks are externally capped by an n-type transparent conductive oxide, which is primarily needed for carrier extraction. Earlier, it has been demonstrated that the mere presence of such oxides can affect the carrier recombination in the crystalline silicon absorber. Here, we present a detailed investigation of the impact of this phenomenon on both the electron and hole collecting sides, including its consequences for the operating voltages of silicon heterojunction solar cells. As a result, we define guiding principles for improved passivating contact design for high-efficiency silicon solar cells.

  8. Array Automated Assembly Task Low Cost Silicon Solar Array Project, Phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhee, S. S.; Jones, G. T.; Allison, K. L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress in the development of solar cells and module process steps for low-cost solar arrays is reported. Specific topics covered include: (1) a system to automatically measure solar cell electrical performance parameters; (2) automation of wafer surface preparation, printing, and plating; (3) laser inspection of mechanical defects of solar cells; and (4) a silicon antireflection coating system. Two solar cell process steps, laser trimming and holing automation and spray-on dopant junction formation, are described.

  9. 16th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Modules: Materials and Processes; Program, Extended Abstracts, and Papers

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B. L.

    2006-08-01

    The National Center for Photovoltaics sponsored the 16th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Modules: Materials and Processes held August 6-9, 2006 in Denver, Colorado. The workshop addressed the fundamental properties of PV-Si, new solar cell designs, and advanced solar cell processing techniques. It provided a forum for an informal exchange of technical and scientific information between international researchers in the photovoltaic and relevant non-photovoltaic fields. The Workshop Theme was: "Getting more (Watts) for Less ($i)". A combination of oral presentations by invited speakers, poster sessions, and discussion sessions reviewed recent advances in crystal growth, new cell structures, new processes and process characterization techniques, and cell fabrication approaches suitable for future manufacturing demands. The special sessions included: Feedstock Issues: Si Refining and Purification; Metal-impurity Engineering; Thin Film Si; and Diagnostic Techniques.

  10. Development of a Thick-film Silicon Ribbon Growth Technique for Application to Large-area Solar Cells and Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, P. A.

    1973-01-01

    A new technique is described for growth of large-area silicon ribbons. This technique is an edge-defined, film-fed growth process by which single crystals can be grown having a shape controlled by the outside dimensions of a shaping die, growth taking place from an extremely thin film of liquid fed by capillary action from a crucible below. The material from which the die is fabricated is very critical to the process. The die must be wet by the silicon, but adverse impurities must not be introduced into the silicon, and the die must not become degraded by the molten silicon. A breakthrough in die fabrication that has allowed the growth of silicon ribbons having dimensions of 1 cm by 30 cm with a thickness of 0.7 mm is described. The implications of this significant advancement with respect to development of photovoltaic solar arrays for wide-scale terrestrial solar-to-electric energy conversion systems are discussed.

  11. Alignment and Initial Operation of an Advanced Solar Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaworske, Donald A.; Jefferies, Kent S.; Mason, Lee S.

    1996-01-01

    A solar simulator utilizing nine 30-kW xenon arc lamps was built to provide radiant power for testing a solar dynamic space power system in a thermal vacuum environment. The advanced solar simulator achieved the following values specific to the solar dynamic system: (1) a subtense angle of 1 deg; (2) the ability to vary solar simulator intensity up to 1.7 kW/sq m; (3) a beam diameter of 4.8 m; and (4) uniformity of illumination on the order of +/-10%. The flexibility of the solar simulator design allows for other potential uses of the facility.

  12. 22.5% efficient silicon heterojunction solar cell with molybdenum oxide hole collector

    SciTech Connect

    Geissbühler, Jonas Werner, Jérémie; Martin de Nicolas, Silvia; Hessler-Wyser, Aïcha; Tomasi, Andrea; Niesen, Bjoern; De Wolf, Stefaan; Barraud, Loris; Despeisse, Matthieu; Nicolay, Sylvain; Ballif, Christophe

    2015-08-24

    Substituting the doped amorphous silicon films at the front of silicon heterojunction solar cells with wide-bandgap transition metal oxides can mitigate parasitic light absorption losses. This was recently proven by replacing p-type amorphous silicon with molybdenum oxide films. In this article, we evidence that annealing above 130 °C—often needed for the curing of printed metal contacts—detrimentally impacts hole collection of such devices. We circumvent this issue by using electrodeposited copper front metallization and demonstrate a silicon heterojunction solar cell with molybdenum oxide hole collector, featuring a fill factor value higher than 80% and certified energy conversion efficiency of 22.5%.

  13. 22.5% efficient silicon heterojunction solar cell with molybdenum oxide hole collector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissbühler, Jonas; Werner, Jérémie; Martin de Nicolas, Silvia; Barraud, Loris; Hessler-Wyser, Aïcha; Despeisse, Matthieu; Nicolay, Sylvain; Tomasi, Andrea; Niesen, Bjoern; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2015-08-01

    Substituting the doped amorphous silicon films at the front of silicon heterojunction solar cells with wide-bandgap transition metal oxides can mitigate parasitic light absorption losses. This was recently proven by replacing p-type amorphous silicon with molybdenum oxide films. In this article, we evidence that annealing above 130 °C—often needed for the curing of printed metal contacts—detrimentally impacts hole collection of such devices. We circumvent this issue by using electrodeposited copper front metallization and demonstrate a silicon heterojunction solar cell with molybdenum oxide hole collector, featuring a fill factor value higher than 80% and certified energy conversion efficiency of 22.5%.

  14. Nanoetching process on silicon solar cell wafers during mass production for surface texture improvement.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Chisung; Kulkarni, Atul; Ha, Soohyun; Cho, Yujin; Kim, Jeongin; Park, Heejin; Kim, Taesung

    2014-12-01

    Major challenge in nanotechnology is to improve the solar cells efficiency. This can be achieved by controlling the silicon solar cell wafer surface structure. Herein, we report a KOH wet etching process along with an ultrasonic cleaning process to improve the surface texture of silicon solar cell wafers. We evaluated the KOH temperature, concentration, and ultra-sonication time. It was observed that the surface texture of the silicon solar wafer changed from a pyramid shape to a rectangular shape under edge cutting as the concentration of the KOH solution was increased. We controlled the etching time to avoid pattern damage and any further increase of the reflectance. The present study will be helpful for the mass processing of silicon solar cell wafers with improved reflectance. PMID:25971104

  15. Metal catalyst technique for texturing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ruby, Douglas S.; Zaidi, Saleem H.

    2001-01-01

    Textured silicon solar cells and techniques for their manufacture utilizing metal sources to catalyze formation of randomly distributed surface features such as nanoscale pyramidal and columnar structures. These structures include dimensions smaller than the wavelength of incident light, thereby resulting in a highly effective anti-reflective surface. According to the invention, metal sources present in a reactive ion etching chamber permit impurities (e.g. metal particles) to be introduced into a reactive ion etch plasma resulting in deposition of micro-masks on the surface of a substrate to be etched. Separate embodiments are disclosed including one in which the metal source includes one or more metal-coated substrates strategically positioned relative to the surface to be textured, and another in which the walls of the reaction chamber are pre-conditioned with a thin coating of metal catalyst material.

  16. Electricity from sunlight. [low cost silicon for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yaws, C. L.; Miller, J. W.; Lutwack, R.; Hsu, G.

    1978-01-01

    The paper discusses a number of new unconventional processes proposed for the low-cost production of silicon for solar cells. Consideration is given to: (1) the Battelle process (Zn/SiCl4), (2) the Battelle process (SiI4), (3) the Silane process, (4) the Motorola process (SiF4/SiF2), (5) the Westinghouse process (Na/SiCl4), (6) the Dow Corning process (C/SiO2), (7) the AeroChem process (SiCl4/H atom), and the Stanford process (Na/SiF4). Preliminary results indicate that the conventional process and the SiI4 processes cannot meet the project goal of $10/kg by 1986. Preliminary cost evaluation results for the Zn/SiCl4 process are favorable.

  17. Evaluation and optimization of silicon sheet solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoo, H.; Iles, P.; Tanner, D.; Pollock, G.; Uno, F.

    1980-01-01

    This paper describes the results and procedures to evaluate and improve the efficiency of solar cells made from various unconventional silicon sheets. The performance parameters included photovoltaic characteristics, spectral response, dark I-V characteristics, and diffusion length. The evaluation techniques used provided accurate and reliable information on sheet performance, and self-consistent results were obtained from the various measurement techniques used. Minority carrier diffusion length (L) was shown to be the ultimate limiting factor for the sheet cell performance (efficiency) and other back-up measurements confirmed this L-dependence. Limited efforts were made to identify defects which influence cell performance, and to use some improved process methods to increase cell efficiency.

  18. Surface and allied studies in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1984-01-01

    Measuring small-signal admittance versus frequency and forward bias voltage together with a new transient measurement apparently provides the most reliable and flexible method available for determining back surface recombination velocity and low-injection lifetime of the quasineutral base region of silicon solar cells. The new transient measurement reported here is called short-circuit-current decay (SCCD). In this method, forward voltage equal to about the open-circuit or the maximum power voltage establishes excess holes and electrons in the junction transition region and in the quasineutral regions. The sudden application of a short circuit causes an exiting of the excess holes and electrons in the transition region within about ten picoseconds. From observing the slope and intercept of the subsequent current decay, the base lifetime and surface recombination velocity can be determined. The admittance measurement previously mentioned then enters to increase accuracy particularly for devices for which the diffusion length exceeds the base thickness.

  19. Effects of high doping levels on silicon solar cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Godlewski, M. P.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.; Baraona, C. R.

    1975-01-01

    Open-circuit voltages measured in silicon solar cells made from 0.01 ohm-cm material are 150 mV lower than voltages calculated from simple diffusion theory and cannot be explained by poor diffusion lengths or surface leakage currents. An analytical study was made to determine whether high doping effects, which increase the intrinsic carrier concentration, could account for the low observed voltages and to determine the limits on voltage and efficiency imposed by high doping effects. The results indicate that the observed variation of voltage with base resistivity is predicted by these effects. A maximum efficiency of 19% (AMO) and a voltage of 0.7 volts were calculated for 0.1 ohm-cm cells assuming an optimum diffused layer impurity profile.

  20. Light-induced Voc increase and decrease in high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuckelberger, M.; Riesen, Y.; Despeisse, M.; Schüttauf, J.-W.; Haug, F.-J.; Ballif, C.

    2014-09-01

    High-efficiency amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells were deposited with different thicknesses of the p-type amorphous silicon carbide layer on substrates of varying roughness. We observed a light-induced open-circuit voltage (Voc) increase upon light soaking for thin p-layers, but a decrease for thick p-layers. Further, the Voc increase is enhanced with increasing substrate roughness. After correction of the p-layer thickness for the increased surface area of rough substrates, we can exclude varying the effective p-layer thickness as the cause of the substrate roughness dependence. Instead, we explain the observations by an increase of the dangling-bond density in both the p-layer—causing a Voc increase—and in the intrinsic absorber layer, causing a Voc decrease. We present a mechanism for the light-induced increase and decrease, justified by the investigation of light-induced changes of the p-layer and supported by Advanced Semiconductor Analysis simulation. We conclude that a shift of the electron quasi-Fermi level towards the conduction band is the reason for the observed Voc enhancements, and poor amorphous silicon quality on rough substrates enhances this effect.

  1. Hydrogenation of Dislocation-Limited Heteroepitaxial Silicon Solar Cells: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Bolen, M. L.; Grover, S.; Teplin, C. W.; Bobela, D.; Branz, H. M.; Stradins, P.

    2012-06-01

    Post-deposition hydrogenation by remote plasma significantly improves performance of heteroepitaxial silicon solar cells. Heteroepitaxial deposition of thin crystal silicon on sapphire for photovoltaics (PV) is an excellent model system for the study and improvement of deposition on inexpensive Al2O3-coated (100) biaxially-textured metal foils. Without hydrogenation, PV conversion efficiencies are less than 1% on our model system. Performance is limited by carrier recombination at electrically active dislocations that result from lattice mismatch, and other defects. We find that low-temperature hydrogenation at 350 degrees C is more effective than hydrogenation at 610 degrees C. In this work, we use measurements such as spectral quantum efficiency, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and vibrational Si-H spectroscopies to understand the effects of hydrogenation on the materials and devices. Quantum efficiency increases most at red and green wavelengths, indicating hydrogenation is affecting the bulk more than the surface of the cells. SIMS shows there are 100X more hydrogen atoms in our cells than dangling bonds along dislocations. Yet, Raman spectroscopy indicates that only low temperature hydrogenation creates Si-H bonds; trapped hydrogen does not stably passivate dangling-bond recombination sites at high temperatures.

  2. Geometric photovoltaics applied to amorphous silicon thin film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkpatrick, Timothy

    Geometrically generalized analytical expressions for device transport are derived from first principles for a photovoltaic junction. Subsequently, conventional planar and unconventional coaxial and hemispherical photovoltaic architectures are applied to detail the device physics of the junction based on their respective geometry. For the conventional planar cell, the one-dimensional transport equations governing carrier dynamics are recovered. For the unconventional coaxial and hemispherical junction designs, new multi-dimensional transport equations are revealed. Physical effects such as carrier generation and recombination are compared for each cell architecture, providing insight as to how non-planar junctions may potentially enable greater energy conversion efficiencies. Numerical simulations are performed for arrays of vertically aligned, nanostructured coaxial and hemispherical amorphous silicon solar cells and results are compared to those from simulations performed for the standard planar junction. Results indicate that fundamental physical changes in the spatial dependence of the energy band profile across the intrinsic region of an amorphous silicon p-i-n junction manifest as an increase in recombination current for non-planar photovoltaic architectures. Despite an increase in recombination current, however, the coaxial architecture still appears to be able to surpass the efficiency predicted for the planar geometry, due to the geometry of the junction leading to a decoupling of optics and electronics.

  3. Antireflection properties and solar cell application of silicon nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huihui, Yue; Rui, Jia; Chen, Chen; Wuchang, Ding; Deqi, Wu; Xinyu, Liu

    2011-08-01

    Silicon nanowire arrays (SiNWAs) are fabricated on polished pyramids of textured Si using an aqueous chemical etching method. The silicon nanowires themselves or hybrid structures of nanowires and pyramids both show strong anti-reflectance abilities in the wavelength region of 300-1000 nm, and reflectances of 2.52% and less than 8% are achieved, respectively. A 12.45% SiNWAs-textured solar cell (SC) with a short circuit current of 34.82 mA/cm2 and open circuit voltage (Voc) of 594 mV was fabricated on 125 × 125 mm2 Si using a conventional process including metal grid printing. It is revealed that passivation is essential for hybrid structure textured SCs, and Voc can be enlarged by 28.6% from 420 V to 560 mV after the passivation layer is deposited. The loss mechanism of SiNWA SC was investigated in detail by systematic comparison of the basic parameters and external quantum efficiency (EQE)of samples with different fabrication processes. It is proved that surface passivation and fabrication of a metal grid are critical for high efficiency SiNWA SC, and the performance of SiNWA SC could be improved when fabricated on a substrate with an initial PN junction.

  4. Photovoltaic solar panels of crystalline silicon: Characterization and separation.

    PubMed

    Dias, Pablo Ribeiro; Benevit, Mariana Gonçalves; Veit, Hugo Marcelo

    2016-03-01

    Photovoltaic panels have a limited lifespan and estimates show large amounts of solar modules will be discarded as electronic waste in a near future. In order to retrieve important raw materials, reduce production costs and environmental impacts, recycling such devices is important. Initially, this article investigates which silicon photovoltaic module's components are recyclable through their characterization using X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, energy dispersion spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Next, different separation methods are tested to favour further recycling processes. The glass was identified as soda-lime glass, the metallic filaments were identified as tin-lead coated copper, the panel cells were made of silicon and had silver filaments attached to it and the modules' frames were identified as aluminium, all of which are recyclable. Moreover, three different components segregation methods have been studied. Mechanical milling followed by sieving was able to separate silver from copper while chemical separation using sulphuric acid was able to detach the semiconductor material. A thermo gravimetric analysis was performed to evaluate the use of a pyrolysis step prior to the component's removal. The analysis showed all polymeric fractions present degrade at 500 °C. PMID:26787682

  5. Resistivity and thickness effects in dendritic web silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, D. L.; Hwang, J. M.; Greggi, J.; Campbell, R. B.

    The decrease of minority carrier lifetime as resistivity decreases in dendritic-web silicon solar cells is addressed. This variation is shown to be consistent with the presence of defect levels in the bandgap which arise from extended defects in the web material. The extended defects are oxide precipitates (SiOx) and the dislocation cores they decorate. Sensitivity to this background distribution of defect levels increases with doping because the Fermi level moves closer to the majority carrier band edge. For high-resistivity dendritic-web silicon, which has a low concentration of these extended defects, cell efficiencies as high as 16.6 percent (4 sq cm, 40 ohm-cm boron-doped base, AM1.5 global, 100 mW/sq cm, 25 C JPL LAPSS1 measurement) and a corresponding electron lifetime of 38 microsec have been obtained. Thickness effects occur in bifacial cell designs and in designs which use light trapping. In some cases, the dislocation/precipitate defect can be passivated through the full thickness of web cells by hydrogen ion implantation.

  6. Resistivity and thickness effects in dendritic web silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meier, D. L.; Hwang, J. M.; Greggi, J.; Campbell, R. B.

    1987-01-01

    The decrease of minority carrier lifetime as resistivity decreases in dendritic-web silicon solar cells is addressed. This variation is shown to be consistent with the presence of defect levels in the bandgap which arise from extended defects in the web material. The extended defects are oxide precipitates (SiOx) and the dislocation cores they decorate. Sensitivity to this background distribution of defect levels increases with doping because the Fermi level moves closer to the majority carrier band edge. For high-resistivity dendritic-web silicon, which has a low concentration of these extended defects, cell efficiencies as high as 16.6 percent (4 sq cm, 40 ohm-cm boron-doped base, AM1.5 global, 100 mW/sq cm, 25 C JPL LAPSS1 measurement) and a corresponding electron lifetime of 38 microsec have been obtained. Thickness effects occur in bifacial cell designs and in designs which use light trapping. In some cases, the dislocation/precipitate defect can be passivated through the full thickness of web cells by hydrogen ion implantation.

  7. Performance of bifacial HIT solar cells on n-type silicon substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qin; Ye, Xiao-Jun; Liu, Cheng; Chen, Ming-Bo

    2010-03-01

    The performance of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) / crystalline silicon (c-Si) heterojunction is studied, and the effects of the emitter layer thickness, doping concentration, intrinsic layer thickness, back heavily-doped n layer, interface state and band offset on the optical and electrical performance of bifacial heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer (HIT) solar cells on ntype silicon substrates are discussed. It is found that the HIT solar cells on n-type substrates can obtain a higher conversion efficiency than those on p-type substrates by calculating the band diagrams and parameters of HIT solar cells.

  8. Sinusoidal nanotextures for light management in silicon thin-film solar cells.

    PubMed

    Köppel, G; Rech, B; Becker, C

    2016-04-28

    Recent progresses in liquid phase crystallization enabled the fabrication of thin wafer quality crystalline silicon layers on low-cost glass substrates enabling conversion efficiencies up to 12.1%. Because of its indirect band gap, a thin silicon absorber layer demands for efficient measures for light management. However, the combination of high quality crystalline silicon and light trapping structures is still a critical issue. Here, we implement hexagonal 750 nm pitched sinusoidal and pillar shaped nanostructures at the sun-facing glass-silicon interface into 10 μm thin liquid phase crystallized silicon thin-film solar cell devices on glass. Both structures are experimentally studied regarding their optical and optoelectronic properties. Reflection losses are reduced over the entire wavelength range outperforming state of the art anti-reflective planar layer systems. In case of the smooth sinusoidal nanostructures these optical achievements are accompanied by an excellent electronic material quality of the silicon absorber layer enabling open circuit voltages above 600 mV and solar cell device performances comparable to the planar reference device. For wavelengths smaller than 400 nm and higher than 700 nm optical achievements are translated into an enhanced quantum efficiency of the solar cell devices. Therefore, sinusoidal nanotextures are a well-balanced compromise between optical enhancement and maintained high electronic silicon material quality which opens a promising route for future optimizations in solar cell designs for silicon thin-film solar cells on glass. PMID:27065440

  9. Sinusoidal nanotextures for light management in silicon thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köppel, G.; Rech, B.; Becker, C.

    2016-04-01

    Recent progresses in liquid phase crystallization enabled the fabrication of thin wafer quality crystalline silicon layers on low-cost glass substrates enabling conversion efficiencies up to 12.1%. Because of its indirect band gap, a thin silicon absorber layer demands for efficient measures for light management. However, the combination of high quality crystalline silicon and light trapping structures is still a critical issue. Here, we implement hexagonal 750 nm pitched sinusoidal and pillar shaped nanostructures at the sun-facing glass-silicon interface into 10 μm thin liquid phase crystallized silicon thin-film solar cell devices on glass. Both structures are experimentally studied regarding their optical and optoelectronic properties. Reflection losses are reduced over the entire wavelength range outperforming state of the art anti-reflective planar layer systems. In case of the smooth sinusoidal nanostructures these optical achievements are accompanied by an excellent electronic material quality of the silicon absorber layer enabling open circuit voltages above 600 mV and solar cell device performances comparable to the planar reference device. For wavelengths smaller than 400 nm and higher than 700 nm optical achievements are translated into an enhanced quantum efficiency of the solar cell devices. Therefore, sinusoidal nanotextures are a well-balanced compromise between optical enhancement and maintained high electronic silicon material quality which opens a promising route for future optimizations in solar cell designs for silicon thin-film solar cells on glass.

  10. Structure of deformed silicon and implications for low cost solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mardesich, N.; Leipold, M. H.; Turner, G. B.; Digges, T. G., Jr.

    1978-01-01

    The microstructure and minority carrier lifetime of silicon were investigated in uniaxially compressed silicon samples. The objective of the investigation was to determine if it is feasible to produce silicon solar cells from sheet formed by high temperature rolling. The initial structure of the silicon samples ranged from single crystal to fine-grained polycrystals. The samples had been deformed at strain rates of 0.1 to 8.5/sec and temperatures of 1270-1380 C with subsequent annealing at 1270-1380 C. The results suggest that high temperature rolling of silicon to produce sheet for cells of high efficiency is not practical.

  11. Solar Grade Silicon from Agricultural By-products

    SciTech Connect

    Richard M. Laine

    2012-08-20

    In this project, Mayaterials developed a low cost, low energy and low temperature method of purifying rice hull ash to high purity (5-6Ns) and converting it by carbothermal reduction to solar grade quality silicon (Sipv) using a self-designed and built electric arc furnace (EAF). Outside evaluation of our process by an independent engineering firm confirms that our technology greatly lowers estimated operating expenses (OPEX) to $5/kg and capital expenses (CAPEX) to $24/kg for Sipv production, which is well below best-in-class plants using a Siemens process approach (OPEX of 14/kg and CAPEX of $87/kg, respectively). The primary limiting factor in the widespread use of photovoltaic (PV) cells is the high cost of manufacturing, compared to more traditional sources to reach 6 g Sipv/watt (with averages closer to 8+g/watt). In 2008, the spot price of Sipv rose to $450/kg. While prices have since dropped to a more reasonable $25/kg; this low price level is not sustainable, meaning the longer-term price will likely return to $35/kg. The 6-8 g Si/watt implies that the Sipv used in a module will cost $0.21-0.28/watt for the best producers (45% of the cost of a traditional solar panel), a major improvement from the cost/wafer driven by the $50/kg Si costs of early 2011, but still a major hindrance in fulfilling DOE goal of lowering the cost of solar energy below $1/watt. The solar cell industry has grown by 40% yearly for the past eight years, increasing the demand for Sipv. As such, future solar silicon price spikes are expected in the next few years. Although industry has invested billions of dollars to meet this ever-increasing demand, the technology to produce Sipv remains largely unchanged requiring the energy intensive, and chlorine dependent Siemens process or variations thereof. While huge improvements have been made, current state-of-the-art industrial plant still use 65 kWh/kg of silicon purified. Our technology offers a key distinction to other technologies as it

  12. Advanced Measurements of Silicon Carbide Ceramic Matrix Composites

    SciTech Connect

    Farhad Farzbod; Stephen J. Reese; Zilong Hua; Marat Khafizov; David H. Hurley

    2012-08-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) is being considered as a fuel cladding material for accident tolerant fuel under the Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Division of the Department of Energy. Silicon carbide has many potential advantages over traditional zirconium based cladding systems. These include high melting point, low susceptibility to corrosion, and low degradation of mechanical properties under neutron irradiation. In addition, ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) made from SiC have high mechanical toughness enabling these materials to withstand thermal and mechanical shock loading. However, many of the fundamental mechanical and thermal properties of SiC CMCs depend strongly on the fabrication process. As a result, extrapolating current materials science databases for these materials to nuclear applications is not possible. The “Advanced Measurements” work package under the LWRS fuels pathway is tasked with the development of measurement techniques that can characterize fundamental thermal and mechanical properties of SiC CMCs. An emphasis is being placed on development of characterization tools that can used for examination of fresh as well as irradiated samples. The work discuss in this report can be divided into two broad categories. The first involves the development of laser ultrasonic techniques to measure the elastic and yield properties and the second involves the development of laser-based techniques to measurement thermal transport properties. Emphasis has been placed on understanding the anisotropic and heterogeneous nature of SiC CMCs in regards to thermal and mechanical properties. The material properties characterized within this work package will be used as validation of advanced materials physics models of SiC CMCs developed under the LWRS fuels pathway. In addition, it is envisioned that similar measurement techniques can be used to provide process control and quality assurance as well as measurement of

  13. Plasmonic silicon solar cells: impact of material quality and geometry.

    PubMed

    Pahud, Celine; Isabella, Olindo; Naqavi, Ali; Haug, Franz-Josef; Zeman, Miro; Herzig, Hans Peter; Ballif, Christophe

    2013-09-01

    We study n-i-p amorphous silicon solar cells with light-scattering nanoparticles in the back reflector. In one configuration, the particles are fully embedded in the zinc oxide buffer layer; In a second configuration, the particles are placed between the buffer layer and the flat back electrode. We use stencil lithography to produce the same periodic arrangement of the particles and we use the same solar cell structure on top, thus establishing a fair comparison between a novel plasmonic concept and its more traditional counterpart. Both approaches show strong resonances around 700 nm in the external quantum efficiency the position and intensity of which vary strongly with the nanoparticle shape. Moreover, disagreement between simulations and our experimental results suggests that the dielectric data of bulk silver do not correctly represent the reality. A better fit is obtained by introducing a porous interfacial layer between the silver and zinc oxide. Without the interfacial layer, e.g. by improved processing of the nanoparticles, our simulations show that the nanoparticles concept could outperform traditional back reflectors. PMID:24104574

  14. Hot wire deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mahan, A.H.; Iwaniczko, E.; Nelson, B.P.; Reedy, R.C. Jr.; Crandall, R.S.

    1996-05-01

    This paper details the results of a study in which low H content, high deposition rate hot wire (HW) deposited amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) has been incorporated into a substrate solar cell. The authors find that the treatment of the top surface of the HW i layer while it is being cooled from its high deposition temperature is crucial to device performance. They present data concerning these surface treatments, and correlate these treatments with Schottky device performance. The authors also present first generation HW n-i-p solar cell efficiency data, where a glow discharge (GD) {mu}c-Si(p) layer was added to complete the partial devices. No light trapping layer was used to increase the device Jsc. Their preliminary investigations have yielded efficiencies of up to 6.8% for a cell with a 4000 {Angstrom} thick HW i-layer, which degrade less than 10% after a 900 hour light soak. The authors suggest avenues for further improvement of their devices.

  15. Influence of nanowires length on performance of crystalline silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Haofeng; Jia, Rui; Chen, Chen; Xing, Zhao; Ding, Wuchang; Meng, Yanlong; Wu, Deqi; Liu, Xinyu; Ye, Tianchun

    2011-04-01

    Silicon-nanowire (Si-NW) array, prepared by an electroless chemical-etching method, shows excellent optical antireflection property over a wide spectral bandwidth. The influence of the wire length on the optical antireflection property and the solar cell performance were studied for both the Si-NW array solar cells and the planar solar cells. The reflectance of NWs solar cells is almost invariable and much lower than that of the planar solar cells but the performance of planar solar cells is the best. Results show the performance of NWs solar cells is strongly affected by some other factors such as surface passivation and electrode-contact property.

  16. In situ silicon oxide based intermediate reflector for thin-film silicon micromorph solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buehlmann, P.; Bailat, J.; Dominé, D.; Billet, A.; Meillaud, F.; Feltrin, A.; Ballif, C.

    2007-10-01

    We show that SiO-based intermediate reflectors (SOIRs) can be fabricated in the same reactor and with the same process gases as used for thin-film silicon solar cells. By varying input gas ratios, SOIR layers with a wide range of optical and electrical properties are obtained. The influence of the SOIR thickness in the micromorph cell is studied and current gain and losses are discussed. Initial micromorph cell efficiency of 12.2% (Voc=1.40V, fill factor=71.9%, and Jsc=12.1mA/cm2) is achieved with top cell, SOIR, and bottom cell thicknesses of 270, 95, and 1800nm, respectively.

  17. New technologies for solar energy silicon - Cost analysis of BCL process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yaws, C. L.; Li, K.-Y.; Fang, C. S.; Lutwack, R.; Hsu, G.; Leven, H.

    1980-01-01

    New technologies for producing polysilicon are being developed to provide lower cost material for solar cells which convert sunlight into electricity. This article presents results for the BCL Process, which produces the solar-cell silicon by reduction of silicon tetrachloride with zinc vapor. Cost, sensitivity, and profitability analysis results are presented based on a preliminary process design of a plant to produce 1000 metric tons/year of silicon by the BCL Process. Profitability analysis indicates a sales price of $12.1-19.4 per kg of silicon (1980 dollars) at a 0-25 per cent DCF rate of return on investment after taxes. These results indicate good potential for meeting the goal of providing lower cost material for silicon solar cells.

  18. Crystal growth for high-efficiency silicon solar cells workshop: Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dumas, K. A.

    1985-01-01

    The state of the art in the growth of silicon crystals for high-efficiency solar cells are reviewed, sheet requirements are defined, and furture areas of research are identified. Silicon sheet material characteristics that limit cell efficiencies and yields were described as well as the criteria for the ideal sheet-growth method. The device engineers wish list to the material engineer included: silicon sheet with long minority carrier lifetime that is uniform throughout the sheet, and which doesn't change during processing; and sheet material that stays flat throughout device processing, has uniform good mechanical strength, and is low cost. Impurities in silicon solar cells depreciate cell performance by reducing diffusion length and degrading junctions. The impurity behavior, degradation mechanisms, and variations in degradation threshold with diffusion length for silicon solar cells were described.

  19. Tantalum oxide/silicon nitride: A negatively charged surface passivation stack for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Yimao Bullock, James; Cuevas, Andres

    2015-05-18

    This letter reports effective passivation of crystalline silicon (c-Si) surfaces by thermal atomic layer deposited tantalum oxide (Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5}) underneath plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposited silicon nitride (SiN{sub x}). Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy imaging shows an approximately 2 nm thick interfacial layer between Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5} and c-Si. Surface recombination velocities as low as 5.0 cm/s and 3.2 cm/s are attained on p-type 0.8 Ω·cm and n-type 1.0 Ω·cm c-Si wafers, respectively. Recombination current densities of 25 fA/cm{sup 2} and 68 fA/cm{sup 2} are measured on 150 Ω/sq boron-diffused p{sup +} and 120 Ω/sq phosphorus-diffused n{sup +} c-Si, respectively. Capacitance–voltage measurements reveal a negative fixed insulator charge density of −1.8 × 10{sup 12 }cm{sup −2} for the Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5} film and −1.0 × 10{sup 12 }cm{sup −2} for the Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5}/SiN{sub x} stack. The Ta{sub 2}O{sub 5}/SiN{sub x} stack is demonstrated to be an excellent candidate for surface passivation of high efficiency silicon solar cells.

  20. Optimized scalable stack of fluorescent solar concentrator systems with bifacial silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Martínez Díez, Ana Luisa; Gutmann, Johannes; Posdziech, Janina; Rist, Tim; Goldschmidt, Jan Christoph; Plaza, David Gómez

    2014-10-21

    In this paper, we present a concentrator system based on a stack of fluorescent concentrators (FCs) and a bifacial solar cell. Coupling bifacial solar cells to a stack of FCs increases the performance of the system and preserves its efficiency when scaled. We used an approach to optimize a fluorescent solar concentrator system design based on a stack of multiple fluorescent concentrators (FC). Seven individual fluorescent collectors (20 mm×20 mm×2 mm) were realized by in-situ polymerization and optically characterized in regard to their ability to guide light to the edges. Then, an optimization procedure based on the experimental data of the individual FCs was carried out to determine the stack configuration that maximizes the total number of photons leaving edges. Finally, two fluorescent concentrator systems were realized by attaching bifacial silicon solar cells to the optimized FC stacks: a conventional system, where FC were attached to one side of the solar cell as a reference, and the proposed bifacial configuration. It was found that for the same overall FC area, the bifacial configuration increases the short-circuit current by a factor of 2.2, which is also in agreement with theoretical considerations.

  1. Optimized scalable stack of fluorescent solar concentrator systems with bifacial silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Díez, Ana Luisa; Gutmann, Johannes; Posdziech, Janina; Rist, Tim; Plaza, David Gómez; Goldschmidt, Jan Christoph

    2014-10-01

    In this paper, we present a concentrator system based on a stack of fluorescent concentrators (FCs) and a bifacial solar cell. Coupling bifacial solar cells to a stack of FCs increases the performance of the system and preserves its efficiency when scaled. We used an approach to optimize a fluorescent solar concentrator system design based on a stack of multiple fluorescent concentrators (FC). Seven individual fluorescent collectors (20 mm × 20 mm × 2 mm) were realized by in-situ polymerization and optically characterized in regard to their ability to guide light to the edges. Then, an optimization procedure based on the experimental data of the individual FCs was carried out to determine the stack configuration that maximizes the total number of photons leaving edges. Finally, two fluorescent concentrator systems were realized by attaching bifacial silicon solar cells to the optimized FC stacks: a conventional system, where FC were attached to one side of the solar cell as a reference, and the proposed bifacial configuration. It was found that for the same overall FC area, the bifacial configuration increases the short-circuit current by a factor of 2.2, which is also in agreement with theoretical considerations.

  2. Chemical vapour etching-based porous silicon and grooving: Application in silicon solar cells processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Rabha, M.; Boujmil, M. F.; Saadoun, M.; Bessaïs, B.

    2005-06-01

    Sponge like porous silicon (PS) was formed by a simple and low cost chemical vapour etching (CVE) method and applied in polycrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar cells processing. The CVE method consists of exposing Si wafers to HNO3/HF vapours. It was shown that 8 min of HNO3/HF CVE (volume ratio = 1/7) is sufficient to form optimized PS layers on the emitter of mc-Si cells. The CVE-based PS can simultaneously passivate the Si surface and serves as an effective antireflection coating (ARC). As a result, the reflectivity decreases by about 60% of its initial value and the internal quantum efficiency is improved, particularly in the short wavelength region. For acid vapours rich in HNO3 (HNO3/HF >1/4), the CVE method favours the formation of a (NH4)2SiF6 powder, which is highly soluble in water. These findings let us achieve anisotropic grooving that enables to groove mc-Si wafers locally and in depth using an adequate anti-acid mask. The CVE - based grooving technique was used to form buried metallic contacts on the rear and frontal surface of the Si wafer in order to improve the current collection in mc-Si solar cells. No alteration of the spectral response in the long wavelength range was observed in mc-Si cells with rear-buried contacts. Adjustments of theoretical spectral responses to experimental ones show an increase in the effective electron diffusion length (Ln), which was attributed to Al gettering (passivation) at grain boundaries and to the reduction of the effective thickness of the base of the cells.

  3. Mixed-phase p-type silicon oxide containing silicon nanocrystals and its role in thin-film silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuony, P.; Marending, M.; Alexander, D. T. L.; Boccard, M.; Bugnon, G.; Despeisse, M.; Ballif, C.

    2010-11-01

    Lower absorption, lower refractive index, and tunable resistance are three advantages of amorphous silicon oxide containing nanocrystalline silicon grains (nc-SiOx) compared to microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si), when used as a p-type layer in μc-Si thin-film solar cells. We show that p-nc-SiOx with its particular nanostructure increases μc-Si cell efficiency by reducing reflection and parasitic absorption losses depending on the roughness of the front electrode. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the p-nc-SiOx reduces the detrimental effects of the roughness on the electrical characteristics, and significantly increases μc-Si and Micromorph cell efficiency on substrates until now considered too rough for thin-film silicon solar cells.

  4. Advances in thin-film solar cells for lightweight space photovoltaic power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Bailey, Sheila G.; Flood, Dennis J.

    1989-01-01

    The present stature and current research directions of photovoltaic arrays as primary power systems for space are reviewed. There have recently been great advances in the technology of thin-film solar cells for terrestrial applications. In a thin-film solar cell the thickness of the active element is only a few microns; transfer of this technology to space arrays could result in ultralow-weight solar arrays with potentially large gains in specific power. Recent advances in thin-film solar cells are reviewed, including polycrystalline copper-indium selenide (CuInSe2) and related I-III-VI2 compounds, polycrystalline cadmium telluride and related II-VI compounds, and amorphous silicon:hydrogen and alloys. The best experimental efficiency on thin-film solar cells to date is 12 percent AMO for CuIn Se2. This efficiency is likely to be increased in the next few years. The radiation tolerance of thin-film materials is far greater than that of single-crystal materials. CuIn Se2 shows no degradation when exposed to 1 MeV electrons. Experimental evidence also suggests that most of all of the radiation damage on thin-films can be removed by a low temperature anneal. The possibility of thin-film multibandgap cascade solar cells is discussed, including the tradeoffs between monolithic and mechanically stacked cells. The best current efficiency for a cascade is 12.5 percent AMO for an amorphous silicon on CuInSe2 multibandgap combination. Higher efficiencies are expected in the future. For several missions, including solar-electric propulsion, a manned Mars mission, and lunar exploration and manufacturing, thin-film photovolatic arrays may be a mission-enabling technology.

  5. Advances in thin-film solar cells for lightweight space photovoltaic power

    SciTech Connect

    Landis, G.A.; Bailey, S.G.; Flood, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    The present stature and current research directions of photovoltaic arrays as primary power systems for space are reviewed. There have recently been great advances in the technology of thin-film solar cells for terrestrial applications. In a thin-film solar cell the thickness of the active element is only a few microns; transfer of this technology to space arrays could result in ultralow-weight solar arrays with potentially large gains in specific power. Recent advances in thin-film solar cells are reviewed, including polycrystalline copper-indium selenide (CuInSe2) and related I-III-VI2 compounds, polycrystalline cadmium telluride and related II-VI compounds, and amorphous silicon:hydrogen and alloys. The best experimental efficiency on thin-film solar cells to date is 12 percent AMO for CuInSe2. This efficiency is likely to be increased in the next few years. The radiation tolerance of thin-film materials is far greater than that of single-crystal materials. CuInSe2 shows no degradation when exposed to 1 MeV electrons. Experimental evidence also suggests that most of all of the radiation damage on thin-films can be removed by a low temperature anneal. The possibility of thin-film multibandgap cascade solar cells is discussed, including the tradeoffs between monolithic and mechanically stacked cells. The best current efficiency for a cascade is 12.5 percent AMO for an amorphous silicon on CuInSe2 multibandgap combination. Higher efficiencies are expected in the future. For several missions, including solar-electric propulsion, a manned Mars mission, and lunar exploration and manufacturing, thin-film photovolatic arrays may be a mission-enabling technology.

  6. Transparent electrodes in silicon heterojunction solar cells: Influence on contact passivation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tomasi, Andrea; Sahli, Florent; Seif, Johannes Peter; Fanni, Lorenzo; de Nicolas Agut, Silvia Martin; Geissbuhler, Jonas; Paviet-Salomon, Bertrand; Nicolay, Sylvain; Barraud, Loris; Niesen, Bjoern; et al

    2015-10-26

    Charge carrier collection in silicon heterojunction solar cells occurs via intrinsic/doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer stacks deposited on the crystalline silicon wafer surfaces. Usually, both the electron and hole collecting stacks are externally capped by an n-type transparent conductive oxide, which is primarily needed for carrier extraction. Earlier, it has been demonstrated that the mere presence of such oxides can affect the carrier recombination in the crystalline silicon absorber. Here, we present a detailed investigation of the impact of this phenomenon on both the electron and hole collecting sides, including its consequences for the operating voltages of silicon heterojunction solarmore » cells. As a result, we define guiding principles for improved passivating contact design for high-efficiency silicon solar cells.« less

  7. Atomic-Layer-Deposited Transparent Electrodes for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Demaurex, Benedicte; Seif, Johannes P.; Smit, Sjoerd; Macco, Bart; Kessels, W. M.; Geissbuhler, Jonas; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-11-01

    We examine damage-free transparent-electrode deposition to fabricate high-efficiency amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. Such solar cells usually feature sputtered transparent electrodes, the deposition of which may damage the layers underneath. Using atomic layer deposition, we insert thin protective films between the amorphous silicon layers and sputtered contacts and investigate their effect on device operation. We find that a 20-nm-thick protective layer suffices to preserve, unchanged, the amorphous silicon layers beneath. Insertion of such protective atomic-layer-deposited layers yields slightly higher internal voltages at low carrier injection levels. However, we identify the presence of a silicon oxide layer, formed during processing, between the amorphous silicon and the atomic-layer-deposited transparent electrode that acts as a barrier, impeding hole and electron collection.

  8. Atomic-Layer-Deposited Transparent Electrodes for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Demaurex, Benedicte; Seif, Johannes P.; Smit, Sjoerd; Macco, Bart; Kessels, W. M.; Geissbuhler, Jonas; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-11-01

    We examine damage-free transparent-electrode deposition to fabricate high-efficiency amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. Such solar cells usually feature sputtered transparent electrodes, the deposition of which may damage the layers underneath. Using atomic layer deposition, we insert thin protective films between the amorphous silicon layers and sputtered contacts and investigate their effect on device operation. We find that a 20-nm-thick protective layer suffices to preserve, unchanged, the amorphous silicon layers beneath. Insertion of such protective atomic-layer-deposited layers yields slightly higher internal voltages at low carrier injection levels. However, we identify the presence of a silicon oxide layer, formed during processing,more » between the amorphous silicon and the atomic-layer-deposited transparent electrode that acts as a barrier, impeding hole and electron collection.« less

  9. Studies of oxygen- and carbon-related defects in high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corbett, J.

    1984-01-01

    Studies were conducted to investigate the vague nature of carbon and oxygen related defects in high efficiency silicon solar cells. High temperature tests were employed to perform these investigations.

  10. Optical losses in amorphous silicon solar cells due to back reflectors

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, B.L.; Madjdpour, J.; Von Roedern, B.; Chen, W.; Hegedus, S.S.

    1997-07-01

    The authors have used a new numerical model and here present initial results on how texturing and backreflectors affect the maximum achievable short-circuit current densities in amorphous silicon solar cells.

  11. Physics of heavily doped silicon and solar-cell parameter measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1984-01-01

    A study of the physics of heavily doped silicon and solar cell parameter measurement was undertaken. The parameters investigated were energy gap, lifetime, recombination velocity, diffusivity, mobility and if N or P is high.

  12. Applications of ion implantation to high performance, radiation tolerant silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, A. R.; Minnucci, J. A.; Matthei, K. W.

    1979-01-01

    Progress in the development of ion implanted silicon solar cells is reported. Effective back surface preparation by implantation, junction processing to achieve high open circuit voltages in low-resistivity cells, and radiation tolerance cells are among the topics studied.

  13. Efficiency of silicon solar cells as a function of base layer resistivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunbar, P. M.; Hauser, J. R.

    1975-01-01

    This paper reports on a theoretical study of the limitations on silicon solar-cell efficiency for both n(+)-p and n(+)-p-p(+) type cells. Detailed calculations have been made of solar-cell operation using a general computer analysis program for semiconductor devices. The computer program, which simultaneously solves Poisson's equation and the electron and hole quasi-Fermi level equations, provides an accurate numerical solution of solar-cell operation without limiting assumptions or approximations. It is found that minority-carrier lifetime and heavy doping effects in the n(+) surface region present serious limitations to efficiency in low-resistivity silicon solar cells.

  14. Polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cell prepared by the solid phase crystallization (SPC) method

    SciTech Connect

    Baba, T.; Matsuyama, T.; Sawada, T.; Takahama, T.; Wakisaka, K.; Tsuda, S.; Nakano, S.

    1994-12-31

    A solid phase crystallization (SPC) method was applied to the fabrication of thin-film polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) for solar cells for the first time. Among crystalline silicon solar cells crystallized at a low temperature of less than 600 C, the world`s highest conversion efficiency of 8.5% was achieved in a solar cell using thin-film poly-Si with only 10 {micro}m thickness prepared by the SPC method. This solar cell showed high photosensitivity in the long-wavelength region of more than 800 nm and also exhibited no light-induced degradation after light exposure.

  15. Reaching Grid Parity Using BP Solar Crystalline Silicon Technology: A Systems Class Application

    SciTech Connect

    Cunningham, Daniel W; Wohlgemuth, John; Carlson, David E; Clark, Roger F; Gleaton, Mark; Posbic, John P; Zahler, James

    2010-12-06

    The primary target market for this program was the residential and commercial PV markets, drawing on BP Solar's premium product and service offerings, brand and marketing strength, and unique routes to market. These two markets were chosen because: (1) in 2005 they represented more than 50% of the overall US PV market; (2) they are the two markets that will likely meet grid parity first; and (3) they are the two market segments in which product development can lead to the added value necessary to generate market growth before reaching grid parity. Federal investment in this program resulted in substantial progress toward the DOE TPP target, providing significant advancements in the following areas: (1) Lower component costs particularly the modules and inverters. (2) Increased availability and lower cost of silicon feedstock. (3) Product specifically developed for residential and commercial applications. (4) Reducing the cost of installation through optimization of the products. (5) Increased value of electricity in mid-term to drive volume increases, via the green grid technology. (6) Large scale manufacture of PV products in the US, generating increased US employment in manufacturing and installation. To achieve these goals BP Solar assembled a team that included suppliers of critical materials, automated equipment developers/manufacturers, inverter and other BOS manufacturers, a utility company, and University research groups. The program addressed all aspects of the crystalline silicon PV business from raw materials (particularly silicon feedstock) through installation of the system on the customers site. By involving the material and equipment vendors, we ensured that supplies of silicon feedstock and other PV specific materials like encapsulation materials (EVA and cover glass) will be available in the quantities required to meet the DOE goals of 5 to 10 GW of installed US PV by 2015 and at the prices necessary for PV systems to reach grid parity in 2015

  16. Amorphous silicon Schottky barrier solar cells incorporating a thin insulating layer and a thin doped layer

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.

    1980-01-01

    Amorphous silicon Schottky barrier solar cells which incorporate a thin insulating layer and a thin doped layer adjacent to the junction forming metal layer exhibit increased open circuit voltages compared to standard rectifying junction metal devices, i.e., Schottky barrier devices, and rectifying junction metal insulating silicon devices, i.e., MIS devices.

  17. Silicon Solar Cells with Front Hetero-Contact and Aluminum Alloy Back Junction: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, H.-C.; Page, M. R.; Iwaniczko, E.; Xu, Y.; Roybal, L.; Wang, Q.; Branz, H. M.; Meier, D. L.

    2008-05-01

    We prototype an alternative n-type monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell structure that utilizes an n/i-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) front hetero-contact and a back p-n junction formed by alloying aluminum (Al) with the n-type Si wafer.

  18. High Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Films and Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    He, Rongrui; Day, Todd D; Sparks, Justin R; Sullivan, Nichole F; Badding, John V

    2016-07-01

    Thin films of hydrogenated amorphous silicon can be produced at MPa pressures from silane without the use of plasma at temperatures as low as 345 °C. High pressure chemical vapor deposition may open a new way to low cost deposition of amorphous silicon solar cells and other thin film structures over very large areas in very compact, simple reactors. PMID:27174318

  19. The mean ionic charge of silicon in 3HE-rich solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luhn, A.; Klecker, B.; Hovestadt, E.; Moebius, E.

    1985-01-01

    Mean ionic charge of iron in 3He-rich solar flares and the average mean charge of Silicon for 23 #He-rich periods during the time interval from September 1978 to October 1979 were determined. It is indicated that the value of the mean charge state of Silicon is higher than the normal flare average by approximately 3 units and in perticular it is higher then the value predicted by resonant heating models for 3He-rich solar flares.

  20. A study of improvements in silicon solar cell efficiency due to various geometrical and doping modifications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunbar, P. M.; Hauser, J. R.

    1976-01-01

    This paper presents the results of continued studies of silicon solar cell operation and limitations. The objective of this paper is to report on geometrical and doping changes in silicon solar cells which result in predictions of high efficiencies. Efficiencies as high as 20 per cent (uncorrected for metal coverage and ohmic sheet resistance) have been calculated for optimized cells. The conditions required to achieve these efficiency values are discussed.

  1. Analysis of the Effects of Impurities in Silicon. [to determine solar cell efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wohlgemuth, J. H.; Lafky, W. M.; Burkholder, J. H.

    1979-01-01

    A solar cell fabrication and analysis program to determine the effects on the resultant solar cell efficiency of impurities incorporated into silicon is conducted. Flight quality technologies and quality assurance are employed to assure that variations in cell performance are due to the impurities incorporated in the silicon. The type and level of impurity doping in each test lot is given and the mechanism responsible for the degradation of cell performance is identified and correlated to the doped impurities.

  2. Operational considerations of the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Kurland, Richard M.

    1992-01-01

    Issues affecting the long-term operational performance of the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array (APSA) are discussed, with particular attention given to circuit electrical integrity from shadowed and cracked cell modules. The successful integration of individual advanced array components provides a doubling of array specific performance from the previous NASA-developed advanced array (SAFE). Flight test modules both recently fabricated and under fabrication are described. The development of advanced high-performance blanket technology for future APSA enhancement is presented.

  3. Large-Scale PV Module Manufacturing Using Ultra-Thin Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells: Final Subcontract Report, 1 April 2002--28 February 2006

    SciTech Connect

    Wohlgemuth, J.; Narayanan, M.

    2006-07-01

    The major objectives of this program were to continue advances of BP Solar polycrystalline silicon manufacturing technology. The Program included work in the following areas. (1) Efforts in the casting area to increase ingot size, improve ingot material quality, and improve handling of silicon feedstock as it is loaded into the casting stations. (2) Developing wire saws to slice 100-..mu..m-thick silicon wafers on 290-..mu..m-centers. (3) Developing equipment for demounting and subsequent handling of very thin silicon wafers. (4) Developing cell processes using 100-..mu..m-thick silicon wafers that produce encapsulated cells with efficiencies of at least 15.4% at an overall yield exceeding 95%. (5) Expanding existing in-line manufacturing data reporting systems to provide active process control. (6) Establishing a 50-MW (annual nominal capacity) green-field Mega-plant factory model template based on this new thin polycrystalline silicon technology. (7) Facilitating an increase in the silicon feedstock industry's production capacity for lower-cost solar-grade silicon feedstock..

  4. Process Technology and Advanced Concepts: Organic Solar Cells (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-06-01

    Capabilities fact sheet for the National Center for Photovoltaics: Process Technology and Advanced Concepts: Organic Solar Cell that includes scope, core competencies and capabilities, and contact/web information.

  5. Temperature dependence of hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cell performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riesen, Y.; Stuckelberger, M.; Haug, F.-J.; Ballif, C.; Wyrsch, N.

    2016-01-01

    Thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar (a-Si:H) cells are known to have better temperature coefficients than crystalline silicon cells. To investigate whether a-Si:H cells that are optimized for standard conditions (STC) also have the highest energy yield, we measured the temperature and irradiance dependence of the maximum power output (Pmpp), the fill factor (FF), the short-circuit current density (Jsc), and the open-circuit voltage (Voc) for four series of cells fabricated with different deposition conditions. The parameters varied during plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD) were the power and frequency of the PE-CVD generator, the hydrogen-to-silane dilution during deposition of the intrinsic absorber layer (i-layer), and the thicknesses of the a-Si:H i-layer and p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide layer. The results show that the temperature coefficient of the Voc generally varies linearly with the Voc value. The Jsc increases linearly with temperature mainly due to temperature-induced bandgap reduction and reduced recombination. The FF temperature dependence is not linear and reaches a maximum at temperatures between 15 °C and 80 °C. Numerical simulations show that this behavior is due to a more positive space-charge induced by the photogenerated holes in the p-layer and to a recombination decrease with temperature. Due to the FF(T) behavior, the Pmpp (T) curves also have a maximum, but at a lower temperature. Moreover, for most series, the cells with the highest power output at STC also have the best energy yield. However, the Pmpp (T) curves of two cells with different i-layer thicknesses cross each other in the operating cell temperature range, indicating that the cell with the highest power output could, for instance, have a lower energy yield than the other cell. A simple energy-yield simulation for the light-soaked and annealed states shows that for Neuchâtel (Switzerland) the best cell at STC also has the best energy

  6. Amorphous Silicon Carbide Passivating Layers to Enable Higher Processing Temperature in Crystalline Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Boccard, Mathieu; Holman, Zachary

    2015-04-06

    "Very efficient crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have been demonstrated when thin layers of intrinsic and doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) are used for passivation and carrier selectivity in a heterojunction device. One limitation of this device structure is the (parasitic) absorption in the front passivation/collection a-Si:H layers; another is the degradation of the a-Si:H-based passivation upon temperature, limiting the post-processes to approximately 200°C thus restricting the contacting possibilities and potential tandem device fabrication. To alleviate these two limitations, we explore the potential of amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H), a widely studied material in use in standard a-Si:H thin-film solar cells, which is known for its wider bandgap, increased hydrogen content and stronger hydrogen bonding compared to a-Si:H. We study the surface passivation of solar-grade textured n-type c-Si wafers for symmetrical stacks of 10-nm-thick intrinsic a-SiC:H with various carbon content followed by either p-doped or n-doped a-Si:H (referred to as i/p or i/n stacks). For both doping types, passivation (assessed through carrier lifetime measurements) is degraded by increasing the carbon content in the intrinsic a-SiC:H layer. Yet, this hierarchy is reversed after annealing at 350°C or more due to drastic passivation improvements upon annealing when an a-SiC:H layer is used. After annealing at 350°C, lifetimes of 0.4 ms and 2.0 ms are reported for i/p and i/n stacks, respectively, when using an intrinsic a-SiC:H layer with approximately 10% of carbon (initial lifetimes of 0.3 ms and 0.1 ms, respectively, corresponding to a 30% and 20-fold increase, respectively). For stacks of pure a-Si:H material the lifetimes degrade from 1.2 ms and 2.0 ms for i/p and i/n stacks, respectively, to less than 0.1 ms and 1.1 ms (12-fold and 2-fold decrease, respectively). For complete solar cells using pure a-Si:H i/p and i/n stacks, the open-circuit voltage (Voc

  7. Advanced Czochralski silicon growth technology for photovoltaic modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.; Kachare, A. H.

    1982-01-01

    Several economic analyses had indicated that large-diameter, multiple ingot growth using a single crucible with melt replenishment would be required for Cz growth to be economically viable. Based on the results of these analyses, two liquid and two solid feed melt replenishment approaches were initiated. The sequential solid feed melt replenishment approach, which demonstrated elements of technical feasibility is described in detail in this paper. Growth results of multiple ingots (10-cm-diameter, totaling 100 kg; and 15-cm-diameter, totaling 150 kg weight per crucible) are presented. Solar cells were fabricated and analyzed to evaluate the effects of structure and chemical purities as a result of multiple growth. The results indicate that, with semiconductor-grade silicon, feedstock impurity build-up does not seem to degrade cell performance. For polycrystalline cells, the average efficiencies are 15 to 25% lower than those of single crystalline cells. Concerns regarding single crystal yields, crucible quality and growth speed are indicated, and present status and future research thrusts are also discussed.

  8. Development and evaluation of die and container materials. Low cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wills, R. R.; Niesx, D. E.

    1979-01-01

    Specific compositions of high purity silicon aluminum oxynitride (Sialon) and silicon beryllium oxynitride (Sibeon) solid solutions were shown to be promising refractory materials for handling and manipulating solar grade silicon into silicon ribbon. Evaulation of the interaction of these materials in contact with molten silicon indicated that solid solutions based upon beta-Si3N4 were more stable than those based on Si2N2O. Sibeon was more resistant to molten silicon attack than Sialon. Both materials should preferably be used in an inert atmosphere rather than under vacuum conditions because removal of oxygen from the silicon melt occurs as SiO enhances the dissolution of aluminum and beryllium. The wetting angles of these materials were low enough for these materials to be considered as both die and container materials.

  9. Light trapping and plasmonic enhancement in silicon, dye-sensitized and titania solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nhung Tran, Hong; Hieu Nguyen, Van; Nguyen, Bich Ha; Vu, Dinh Lam

    2016-03-01

    The efficiency of a solar cell depends on both the quality of its semiconductor active layer, as well as on the presence of other dielectric and metallic structural components which improve light trapping and exploit plasmonic enhancement. The purpose of this work is to review the results of recent research on light trapping and plasmonic enhancement in three types of solar cells: thin-film silicon solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells and solid-state titania solar cells. The results of a study on modeling and the design of light trapping components in solar cells are also presented.

  10. Method of mitigating titanium impurities effects in p-type silicon material for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, A. M. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    Microstructural evaluation tests performed on Cu-doped, Ti-doped and Cu/Ti doped p-type silicon single crystal wafers, before and after the solar cell fabrication, and evaluation of both dark forward and reverse I-V characteristic records for the solar cells produced from the corresponding silicon wafers, show that Cu mitigates the unfavorable effects of Ti, and thus provides for higher conversion efficiency, thereby providing an economical way to reduce the deleterious effects of titanium, one of the impurities present in metallurgical grade silicon material.

  11. Porous Silicon Modified Photovoltaic Junctions: An Approach to High-Efficiency Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Waheed A.

    2007-02-01

    The solution of the energy problems of our universe is based on the use of the ultimate source of energy, THE SUN, as the main source of useable energy. The trials to obtain solar cells of appropriate efficiency and suitable price represent one of the main tasks of different research groups over the whole world. In this respect silicon represent the main absorber of sun light that could be converted to electricity, photovoltaic cells, or to high energy chemical products, photoelectrochemical cells. Photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical systems were prepared by the formation of a thin porous film on silicon. The porous silicon layer was formed on the top of a clean oxide free silicon wafer surface by anodic etching in HF/H2O/C2H5OH mixture (2:1:1). The silicon was then covered by an oxide film (tin oxide, ITO or titanium oxide. The oxide films were prepared by the spray/pyrolysis technique which enables the incorporation of foreign atoms like In, Ru or Sb in the oxide film matrix during the spray process/. The incorporation of foreign atoms improves the surface characteristics of the oxide film which leads to the improvement of the fill factor and higher solar conversion efficiency. The prepared solar cells are stable against environmental attack due to the presence of the stable oxide film. It gives relatively high short circuit currents (Isc) compared to our improved silicon single crystal solar cells /6/, due to the presence of the porous silicon layer, which leads to the recorded high conversion efficiency. Although the open-circuit potential (Voc) and fill factor (FF) were not affected by the thickness of the porous silicon film, the short circuit current was found to be sensitive to this thickness. An optimum thickness of the porous film and also the oxide layer is required to optimize the solar cell efficiency. The results represent a promising system for the application of porous silicon layers in solar energy converters. The use of porous silicon instead of

  12. Research opportunities to advance solar energy utilization.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Nathan S

    2016-01-22

    Major developments, as well as remaining challenges and the associated research opportunities, are evaluated for three technologically distinct approaches to solar energy utilization: solar electricity, solar thermal, and solar fuels technologies. Much progress has been made, but research opportunities are still present for all approaches. Both evolutionary and revolutionary technology development, involving foundational research, applied research, learning by doing, demonstration projects, and deployment at scale will be needed to continue this technology-innovation ecosystem. Most of the approaches still offer the potential to provide much higher efficiencies, much lower costs, improved scalability, and new functionality, relative to the embodiments of solar energy-conversion systems that have been developed to date. PMID:26798020

  13. Advances in Solar Radiometry and Metrology

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, D.; Andreas, A.; Reda, I.; Gotseff, P.; Wilcox, S.; Stoffel, T.; Anderberg, M.

    2005-01-01

    The Solar Radiometry and Metrology task at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides traceable optical radiometric calibrations and measurements to photovoltaic (PV) researchers and the PV industry. Traceability of NREL solar radiometer calibrations to the World Radiometric Reference (WRR) was accomplished during the NREL Pyrheliometer Comparison in October 2003. The task has calibrated 10 spectral and more than 180 broadband radiometers for solar measurements. Other accomplishments include characterization of pyranometer thermal offset errors with laboratory and spectral modeling tools; developing a simple scheme to correct pyranometer data for known responsivity variations; and measuring detailed spectral distributions of the NREL High Intensity Pulsed Solar Simulator (HIPSS) as a function of lamp voltage and time. The optical metrology functions support the NREL Measurement and Characterization Task effort for ISO 17025 accreditation of NREL Solar Reference Cell Calibrations. Optical metrology functions have been integrated into the NREL quality system and audited for ISO17025 compliance.

  14. Recombination phenomena in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sah, C. T.

    1985-01-01

    The dominant recombination phenomena which limit the highest efficiency attainable in silicon solar cells under terrestrial sunlight are reviewed. The ultimate achievable efficiency is limited by the two intrinsic recombination mechanisms, the interband Auger recombination and interband Radiative recombination, both of which occur in the entire cell body but principally in the base layer. It is suggested that an optimum (26%) cell design is one with lowly doped 50 to 100 micron thick base, a perfect BSF, and zero extrinsic recombination such as the thermal mechanism at recombination centers the Shockley-Read-Hall process (SRH) in the bulk, on the surface and at the interfaces. The importance of recombination at the interfaces of a high-efficiency cell is demonstrated by the ohmic contact on the back surface whose interface recombination velocity is infinite. The importance of surface and interface recombination is demonstrated by representing the auger and radiative recombination losses by effective recombination velocities. It is demonstrated that the three highest efficiency cells may all be limited by the SRH recombination losses at recombination centers in the base layer.

  15. Amorphous silicon cell array powered solar tracking apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Hanak, Joseph J.

    1985-01-01

    An array of an even number of amorphous silicon solar cells are serially connected between first and second terminals of opposite polarity. The terminals are connected to one input terminal of a DC motor whose other input terminal is connected to the mid-cell of the serial array. Vane elements are adjacent the end cells to selectively shadow one or the other of the end cells when the array is oriented from a desired attitude relative to the sun. The shadowing of one cell of a group of cells on one side of the mid-cell reduces the power of that group substantially so that full power from the group of cells on the other side of the mid-cell drives the motor to reorient the array to the desired attitude. The cell groups each have a full power output at the power rating of the motor. When the array is at the desired attitude the power output of the two groups of cells balances due to their opposite polarity so that the motor remains unpowered.

  16. Ultrasonic seam welding on thin silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stofel, E. J.

    1982-01-01

    The ultrathin silicon solar cell has progressed to where it is a serious candidate for future light weight or radiation tolerant spacecraft. The ultrasonic method of producing welds was found to be satisfactory. These ultrathin cells could be handled without breakage in a semiautomated welding machine. This is a prototype of a machine capable of production rates sufficiently large to support spacecraft array assembly needs. For comparative purposes, this project also welded a variety of cells with thicknesses up to 0.23 mm as well as the 0.07 mm ultrathin cells. There was no electrical degradation in any cells. The mechanical pull strength of welds on the thick cells was excellent when using a large welding force. The mechanical strength of welds on thin cells was less since only a small welding force could be used without cracking these cells. Even so, the strength of welds on thin cells appears adequate for array application. The ability of such welds to survive multiyear, near Earth orbit thermal cycles needs to be demonstrated.

  17. Surface and allied studies in silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1983-01-01

    Two main results are presented. The first deals with a simple method that determines the minority-carrier lifetime and the effective surface recombination velocity of the quasi-neutral base of silicon solar cells. The method requires the observation of only a single transient, and is amenable to automation for in-process monitoring in manufacturing. This method, which is called short-circuit current decay, avoids distortion in the observed transient and consequent inacccuracies that arise from the presence of mobile holes and electrons stored in the p/n junction spacecharge region at the initial instant of the transient. The second main result consists in a formulation of the relevant boundary-value problems that resembles that used in linear two-port network theory. This formulation enables comparisons to be made among various contending methods for measuring material parameters of p/n junction devices, and enables the option of putting the description in the time domain of the transient studies in the form of an infinite series, although closed-form solutions are also possible.

  18. Advanced solar energy conversion. [solar pumped gas lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, J. H.

    1981-01-01

    An atomic iodine laser, a candidate for the direct solar pumped lasers, was successfully excited with a 4 kW beam from a xenon arc solar simulator, thus proving the feasibility of the concept. The experimental set up and the laser output as functions of operating conditions are presented. The preliminary results of the iodine laser amplifier pumped with the HCP array to which a Q switch for giant pulse production was coupled are included. Two invention disclosures - a laser driven magnetohydrodynamic generator for conversion of laser energy to electricity and solar pumped gas lasers - are also included.

  19. New technologies for solar energy silicon - Cost analysis of dichlorosilane process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yaws, C. L.; Li, K.-Y.; Chu, T. C. T.; Fang, C. S.; Lutwack, R.; Briglio, A., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    A reduction in the cost of silicon for solar cells is an important objective in a project concerned with the reduction of the cost of electricity produced with solar cells. The cost goal for the silicon material is about $14 per kg (1980 dollars). The process which is currently employed to produce semiconductor grade silicon from trichlorosilane is not suited for meeting this cost goal. Other processes for producing silicon are, therefore, being investigated. A description is presented of results obtained for the DCS process which involves the production of dichlorosilane as a silicon source material for solar energy silicon. Major benefits of dichlorosilane as a silicon source material include faster reaction rates for chemical vapor deposition of silicon. The DCS process involves the reaction 2SiHCl3 yields reversibly SiH2Cl2 + SiCl4. The results of a cost analysis indicate a total product cost without profit of $1.29/kg of SiH2Cl2.

  20. Thin film polycrystalline silicon solar cells: first technical progress report, April 15, 1980-July 15, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    1980-07-01

    The objectives of this contract are to fabricate large area thin film silicon solar cells with AM1 efficiency of 10% or greater with good reproducibility and good yield and to assess the feasibility of implementing this process for manufacturing solar cells at a cost of $300/kWe. Efforts during the past quarter have been directed to the purification of metallurgical silicon, the preparation of substrates, and the fabrication and characterization of solar cells. The partial purification of metallurgical silicon by extraction with aqua regia has been investigated in detail, and the resulting silicon was analyzed by the atomic absorption technique. The unidirectional solidification of aqua regia-extracted metallurgical silicon on graphite was used for the preparation of substrates, and the impurity distribution in the substrate was also determined. Large area (> 30 cm/sup 2/) solar cells have been prepared from aqua regia-extracted metallurgical silicon substrates by the thermal reduction of trichlorosilane containing appropriate dopants. Chemically deposited tin-dioxide films were used as antireflection coatings. Solar cells with AM1 efficiencies of about 8.5% have been obtained. Their spectral response, minority carrier diffusion length, and I/sub sc/-V/sub oc/ relation have been measured.

  1. Relationship of dislocation density of silicon to solar cell current loss at low temperature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandelkorn, J.; Baraona, C. R.; Lamneck, J. H., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    Large decreases in short circuit current of silicon solar cells have been reported to occur as temperature is decreased below -60 C. Experimental results are presented which relate high dislocation density of the silicon bulk material of cells to the large current loss effect. Solar cells were made by the same processes from a variety of silicon materials, namely low-dislocation-density, high-dislocation-density float-zone, and Czochralski silicon. All cells were etched in a manner which revealed the dislocation density of the cell bulk silicon. It was found that every cell made from any of the various low-dislocation starting materials obtained from three suppliers still had a low-dislocation bulk after cell processing, and that all such cells belonged to category good. Cells made from float-zone materials showed high dislocation densities in their bulk and either fell into category poor, or had intermediate losses of short-circuit current at low temperature.

  2. Development of processes for the production of low cost silicon dendritic web for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, C. S.; Seidensticker, R. G.; Mchugh, J. P.; Hopkins, R. H.; Skutch, M. E.; Driggers, J. M.; Hill, F. E.

    1980-01-01

    High area output rates and continuous, automated growth are two key technical requirements for the growth of low-cost silicon ribbons for solar cells. By means of computer-aided furnace design, silicon dendritic web output rates as high as 27 sq cm/min have been achieved, a value in excess of that projected to meet a $0.50 per peak watt solar array manufacturing cost. The feasibility of simultaneous web growth while the melt is replenished with pelletized silicon has also been demonstrated. This step is an important precursor to the development of an automated growth system. Solar cells made on the replenished material were just as efficient as devices fabricated on typical webs grown without replenishment. Moreover, web cells made on a less-refined, pelletized polycrystalline silicon synthesized by the Battelle process yielded efficiencies up to 13% (AM1).

  3. Evaluation and verification of epitaxial process sequence for silicon solar cell production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redfield, D.

    1981-01-01

    The applicability of solar cell and module processing sequences, to be used on lower cost epitaxial silicon wafers was evaluated. The extent to which the process sequences perform effectively when applied to film solar cells formed by epitaxial deposition of Si on potentially inexpensive substrates of upgraded metallurgical grade Si is examined. It is concluded that these substrates are satisfactory in their cell performance.

  4. Studies of silicon p-n junction solar cells. [open circuit photovoltage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.

    1976-01-01

    Single crystal silicon p-n junction solar cells made with low resistivity substrates show poorer solar energy conversion efficiency than traditional theory predicts. The physical mechanisms responsible for this discrepancy are identified and characterized. The open circuit voltage in shallow junction cells of about 0.1 ohm/cm substrate resistivity is investigated under AMO (one sun) conditions.

  5. Electron and photon degradation in aluminum, gallium and boron doped float zone silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahilly, W. P.; Scott-Monck, J.; Anspaugh, B.; Locker, D.

    1976-01-01

    Solar cells fabricated from Al, Ga and B doped Lopex silicon over a range of resistivities were tested under varying conditions of 1 MeV electron fluence, light exposures and thermal cycling. Results indicate that Al and Ga can replace B as a P type dopant to yield improved solar cell performance.

  6. High efficiency solar cells combining a perovskite and a silicon heterojunction solar cells via an optical splitting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzu, Hisashi; Ichikawa, Mitsuru; Hino, Masashi; Nakano, Kunihiro; Meguro, Tomomi; Hernández, José Luis; Kim, Hui-Seon; Park, Nam-Gyu; Yamamoto, Kenji

    2015-01-01

    We have applied an optical splitting system in order to achieve very high conversion efficiency for a full spectrum multi-junction solar cell. This system consists of multiple solar cells with different band gap optically coupled via an "optical splitter." An optical splitter is a multi-layered beam splitter with very high reflection in the shorter-wave-length range and very high transmission in the longer-wave-length range. By splitting the incident solar spectrum and distributing it to each solar cell, the solar energy can be managed more efficiently. We have fabricated optical splitters and used them with a wide-gap amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cell or a CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cell as top cells, combined with mono-crystalline silicon heterojunction (HJ) solar cells as bottom cells. We have achieved with a 550 nm cutoff splitter an active area conversion efficiency of over 25% using a-Si and HJ solar cells and 28% using perovskite and HJ solar cells.

  7. High efficiency solar cells combining a perovskite and a silicon heterojunction solar cells via an optical splitting system

    SciTech Connect

    Uzu, Hisashi E-mail: npark@skku.edu; Ichikawa, Mitsuru; Hino, Masashi; Nakano, Kunihiro; Meguro, Tomomi; Yamamoto, Kenji; Hernández, José Luis; Kim, Hui-Seon; Park, Nam-Gyu E-mail: npark@skku.edu

    2015-01-05

    We have applied an optical splitting system in order to achieve very high conversion efficiency for a full spectrum multi-junction solar cell. This system consists of multiple solar cells with different band gap optically coupled via an “optical splitter.” An optical splitter is a multi-layered beam splitter with very high reflection in the shorter-wave-length range and very high transmission in the longer-wave-length range. By splitting the incident solar spectrum and distributing it to each solar cell, the solar energy can be managed more efficiently. We have fabricated optical splitters and used them with a wide-gap amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cell or a CH{sub 3}NH{sub 3}PbI{sub 3} perovskite solar cell as top cells, combined with mono-crystalline silicon heterojunction (HJ) solar cells as bottom cells. We have achieved with a 550 nm cutoff splitter an active area conversion efficiency of over 25% using a-Si and HJ solar cells and 28% using perovskite and HJ solar cells.

  8. Silicon-on ceramic process: Silicon sheet growth and device development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grung, B. L.; Heaps, J. D.; Schmit, F. M.; Schuldt, S. B.; Zook, J. D.

    1981-01-01

    The technical feasibility of producing solar-cell-quality sheet silicon to meet the Department of Energy (DOE) 1986 overall price goal of $0.70/watt was investigated. With the silicon-on-ceramic (SOC) approach, a low-cost ceramic substrate is coated with large-grain polycrystalline silicon by unidirectional solidification of molten silicon. This effort was divided into several areas of investigation in order to most efficiently meet the goals of the program. These areas include: (1) dip-coating; (2) continuous coating designated SCIM-coating, and acronym for Silicon Coating by an Inverted Meniscus (SCIM); (3) material characterization; (4) cell fabrication and evaluation; and (5) theoretical analysis. Both coating approaches were successful in producing thin layers of large grain, solar-cell-quality silicon. The dip-coating approach was initially investigated and considerable effort was given to this technique. The SCIM technique was adopted because of its scale-up potential and its capability to produce more conventiently large areas of SOC.

  9. Fully-depleted silicon-on-sapphire and its application to advanced VLSI design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Offord, Bruce W.

    1992-01-01

    In addition to the widely recognized advantages of full dielectric isolation, e.g., reduced parasitic capacitance, transient radiation hardness, and processing simplicity, fully-depleted silicon-on-sapphire offers reduced floating body effects and improved thermal characteristics when compared to other silicon-on-insulator technologies. The properties of this technology and its potential impact on advanced VLSI circuitry will be discussed.

  10. Photothermal Characteristics of Novel Flexible Black Silicon for Solar Thermal Receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Wei; Zhu, Yong; Wang, Ning; Mei, Hao; Yin, Stuart

    2012-11-01

    In this article, a novel type of flexible black silicon used for enhancing the absorption of a solar thermal receiver is reported. The optical absorption properties of this kind of flexible black silicon with three different sizes of conical microstructure are analyzed using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and the heat transfer properties are studied using the COMSOL multiphysics heat transfer solver. The results show that flexible black silicon with small-size microstructure has the highest optical absorptance and heat transfer speed. A commercial silicon-on-insulator wafer is irradiated by an auto-scanning femtosecond laser system and then split by etching out its middle layer in 52 % hydrofluoric acid to fabricate the flexible black silicon. The obtained flexible black silicon presents very good flexibility, and its photothermal characteristics are investigated. The optical absorption spectrum test results indicate that the absorptance of the flexible black silicon is as high as 97 % in the visible spectral region and is higher than that of anodized aluminum in a broad spectral range from 250 nm to 2500 nm. The light radiation heating experiment results show that the energy absorption efficiency of the water covered with flexible black silicon is improved 13 % compared with that of the water covered with anodized aluminum. It is confirmed that as a light-absorbing and heat-transferring layer the flexible black silicon has an important potential application in exploring solar energy.

  11. Recent Optical and SEM Characterization of Genesis Solar Wind Concentrator Diamond on Silicon Collector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allton, Judith H.; Rodriquez, M. C.; Burkett, P. J.; Ross, D. K.; Gonzalez, C. P.; McNamara, K. M.

    2013-01-01

    One of the 4 Genesis solar wind concentrator collectors was a silicon substrate coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC) in which to capture solar wind. This material was designed for analysis of solar nitrogen and noble gases [1, 2]. This particular collector fractured during landing, but about 80% of the surface was recovered, including a large piece which was subdivided in 2012 [3, 4, 5]. The optical and SEM imaging and analysis described below supports the subdivision and allocation of the diamond-on-silicon (DOS) concentrator collector.

  12. Silicon sheet with molecular beam epitaxy for high efficiency solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, F. G.

    1983-01-01

    The capabilities of the new technique of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) are applied to the growth of high efficiency silicon solar cells. Because MBE can provide well controlled doping profiles of any desired arbitrary design, including doping profiles of such complexity as built-in surface fields or tandem junction cells, it would appear to be the ideal method for development of high efficiency solar cells. It was proposed that UCLA grow and characterize silicon films and p-n junctions of MBE to determine whether the high crystal quality needed for solar cells could be achieved.

  13. Control carrier recombination of multi-scale textured black silicon surface for high performance solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, M.; Yuan, G. D.; Peng, Y.; Chen, H. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Z. Q.; Wang, J. X.; Cai, B.; Zhu, Y. M.; Chen, Y.; Liu, J. H.; Li, J. M.

    2014-06-01

    We report an enhanced performance of multi-scale textured black silicon solar cell with power conversion efficiency of 15.5% by using anisotropic tetramethylammonium hydroxide etching to control the recombination. The multi-scale texture can effectively reduce the surface reflectance in a wide wavelength range, and both the surface and Auger recombination can be effectively suppressed by etching the samples after the n++ emitter formed. Our result shows that the reformed solar cell has higher conversion efficiency than that of conventional pyramid textured cell (15.3%). This work presents an effective method for improving the performance of nanostructured silicon solar cells.

  14. The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: Science Drivers and Construction Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimmele, Thomas; Berger, Thomas; McMullin, Joseph; Keil, Stephen; Goode, Phil; Knoelker, Michael; Kuhn, Jeff; Rosner, Robert; Casini, Roberto; Lin, Haosheng; Woeger, Friedrich; von der Luehe, Oskar; Tritschler, Alexandra; Atst Team

    2013-04-01

    The 4-meter Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) currently under construction on the 3000 meter peak of Haleakala on Maui, Hawaii will be the world's most powerful solar telescope and the leading ground-based resource for studying solar magnetism. The solar atmosphere is permeated by a 'magnetic carpet' that constantly reweaves itself to control solar irradiance and its effects on Earth's climate, the solar wind, and space weather phenomena such as flares and coronal mass ejections. Precise measurement of solar magnetic fields requires a large-aperture solar telescope capable of resolving a few tens of kilometers on the solar surface. With its 4 meter aperture, the ATST will for the first time resolve magnetic structure at the intrinsic scales of plasma convection and turbulence. The ATST's ability to perform accurate and precise spectroscopic and polarimetric measurements of magnetic fields in all layers of the solar atmosphere, including accurate mapping of the elusive coronal magnetic fields, will be transformative in advancing our understanding of the magnetic solar atmosphere. The ATST will utilize the Sun as an important astro- and plasma-physics "laboratory" demonstrating key aspects of omnipresent cosmic magnetic fields. The ATST construction effort is led by the US National Solar Observatory. State-of-the-art instrumentation will be constructed by US and international partner institutions. The technical challenges the ATST is facing are numerous and include the design of the off-axis main telescope, the development of a high order adaptive optics system that delivers a corrected beam to the instrument laboratory, effective handling of the solar heat load on optical and structural elements, and minimizing scattered light to enable observations of the faint corona. The ATST project has transitioned from design and development to its construction phase. The project has awarded design and fabrication contracts for major telescope subsystems. Site

  15. Stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells with low hydrogen content

    SciTech Connect

    Fortmann, C.M.; Hegedus, S.S. )

    1992-12-01

    Results and conclusions obtained during a research program of the investigation of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon based alloy materials and solar cells fabricated by photo-chemical vapor and glow discharge depositions are reported. Investigation of the effects of the hydrogen content in a-si:H i-layers in amorphous silicon solar cells show that cells with lowered hydrogen content i-layers are more stable. A classical thermodynamic formulation of the Staebler-Wronski effect has been developed for standard solar cell operating temperatures and illuminations. Methods have been developed to extract a lumped equivalent circuit from the current voltage characteristic of a single junction solar cell in order to predict its behavior in a multijunction device.

  16. Stable, high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells with low hydrogen content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortmann, C. M.; Hegedus, S. S.

    1992-12-01

    Results and conclusions obtained during the investigation of amorphous silicon, amorphous silicon based alloy materials, and solar cells fabricated by photo-chemical vapor and glow discharge depositions are reported. Investigation of the effects of the hydrogen content in a-Si:H i-layers in amorphous silicon solar cells show that cells with lowered hydrogen content i-layers are more stable. A classical thermodynamic formulation of the Staebler-Wronski effect has been developed for standard solar cell operating temperatures and illuminations. Methods have been developed to extract a lumped equivalent circuit from the current voltage characteristic of a single junction solar cell in order to predict its behavior in a multijunction device.

  17. Silicon Materials Task of the Low Cost Solar Array Project, Phase 3. Effect of Impurities and Processing on Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R.; Blais, P. D.; Rohatgi, A.; Campbell, R. B.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Stapleton, R. E.; Mollenkopf, H. C.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The effects of impurities, various thermochemical processes, and any impurity process interactions on the performance of terrestrial silicon solar cells are defined. Determinations of the segregation coefficients of tungsten, tantalum, and cobalt for the Czochralski pulling of silicon single crystals are reported. Sensitive neutron activation analysis was used to determine the metal impurity content of the silicon while atomic absorption was used to measure the metal content of the residual liquid from which the doped crystals were grown. Gettering of Ti doped silicon wafers improved cell performance by one to two percent for the highest temperatures and longest times. The HCl is more effective than POCl3 treatments for deactivating Ti but POCl3 and HCl produced essentially identical results for Mo or Fe.

  18. Multifunctional microstructured polymer films for boosting solar power generation of silicon-based photovoltaic modules.

    PubMed

    Leem, Jung Woo; Choi, Minkyu; Yu, Jae Su

    2015-02-01

    We propose two-dimensional periodic conical micrograting structured (MGS) polymer films as a multifunctional layer (i.e., light harvesting and self-cleaning) at the surface of outer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cover-substrates for boosting the solar power generation in silicon (Si)-based photovoltaic (PV) modules. The surface of ultraviolet-curable NOA63 MGS polymer films fabricated by the soft imprint lithography exhibits a hydrophobic property with water contact angle of ∼121° at no inclination and dynamic advancing/receding water contact angles of ∼132°/111° at the inclination angle of 40°, respectively, which can remove dust particles or contaminants on the surface of PV modules in real outdoor environments (i.e., self-cleaning). The NOA63 MGS film coated on the bare PET leads to the reduction of reflection as well as the enhancement of both the total and diffuse transmissions at wavelengths of 300-1100 nm, indicating lower solar weighted reflectance (RSW) of ∼8.2%, higher solar weighted transmittance (TSW) of ∼93.1%, and considerably improved average haze ratio (HAvg) of ∼88.3% as compared to the bare PET (i.e., RSW ≈ 13.5%, TSW ≈ 86.9%, and HAvg ≈ 9.1%), respectively. Additionally, it shows a relatively good durability at temperatures of ≤160 °C. The resulting Si PV module with the NOA63 MGS/PET has an enhanced power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 13.26% (cf., PCE = 12.55% for the reference PV module with the bare PET) due to the mainly improved short circuit current from 49.35 to 52.01 mA, exhibiting the PCE increment percentage of ∼5.7%. For light incident angle-dependent PV module current-voltage characteristics, superior solar energy conversion properties are also obtained in a broad angle range of 10-80°. PMID:25622310

  19. Studies of the nature of interfacial barriers in high efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bates, Clayton W., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The effects of interfacial barriers in crystalline silicon solar cells were studied. The effort was directed toward the investigation and use of such techniques as Angular Resolved Parameter Spectroscopy (ARAPS) and Impedance Spectroscopy in initially characterizing n-type Si doped to levels commonly used for n+p solar cells, and eventually Si solar cells. The objectives of the research are given. Those accomplished are detailed, as are recommendations for future work.

  20. Dip-coating process: Silicon sheet growth development for the large-area silicon sheet task of the low-cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zook, J. D.; Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Koepke, B. G.; Gutter, C. D.; Schuldt, S. B.

    1977-01-01

    The objective of this research program is to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of producing solar-cell-quality sheet silicon by coating one surface of carbonized ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large-grain polycrystalline silicon from the melt. The past quarter demonstrated significant progress in several areas. Seeded growth of silicon-on-ceramic (SOC) with an EFG ribbon seed was demonstrated. Different types of mullite were successfully coated with silicon. A new method of deriving minority carrier diffusion length, L sub n from spectral response measurements was evaluated. ECOMOD cost projections were found to be in good agreement with the interim SAMIS method proposed by JPL. On the less positive side, there was a decrease in cell performance which we believe to be due to an unidentified source of impurities.

  1. Spectral response and efficiency of a silicon solar cell below water surface

    SciTech Connect

    Muaddi, J.A.; Jamal, M.A. )

    1992-07-01

    Solar radiation below water surface is modified in that the total solar energy is decreased and the spectral width is reduced. The extent of this modification depends upon the depth in water. This change in the solar radiation reflects its effects on the performance of the light measuring devices such as solar cells, where the efficiency of these cells depends upon the spectral distribution of the incident light. For a silicon solar cell, a computational work has been performed to reconstruct the spectral response curves of the cell at various depths in water, and to calculate the efficiency at these depths relative to the cell efficiency at the water surface.

  2. Assessment of the advanced clay bonded silicon carbide candle filter materials. Topical report, September 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Alvin, M.A.

    1995-07-01

    Advancements have been made during the past five years to not only increase the strength of the as-manufactured clay bonded silicon carbide candle filter materials, but also to improve their high temperature creep resistance properties. This report reviews these developments, and describes the results of preliminary qualification testing which has been conducted at Westinghouse prior to utilizing the advanced clay bonded silicon carbide filters in high temperature, pressurized, coal-fired combustion and/or gasification applications.

  3. Impact of interstitial oxygen trapped in silicon during plasma growth of silicon oxy-nitride films for silicon solar cell passivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saseendran, Sandeep S.; Saravanan, S.; Raval, Mehul C.; Kottantharayil, Anil

    2016-03-01

    Low temperature oxidation of silicon in plasma ambient is a potential candidate for replacing thermally grown SiO2 films for surface passivation of crystalline silicon solar cells. In this work, we report the growth of silicon oxy-nitride (SiOxNy) film in N2O plasma ambient at 380 °C. However, this process results in trapping of interstitial oxygen within silicon. The impact of this trapped interstitial oxygen on the surface passivation quality is investigated. The interstitial oxygen trapped in silicon was seen to decrease for larger SiOxNy film thickness. Effective minority carrier lifetime (τeff) measurements on n-type float zone silicon wafers passivated by SiOxNy/silicon nitride (SiNv:H) stack showed a decrease in τeff from 347 μs to 68 μs, for larger SiOxNy film thickness due to degradation in interface properties. From high frequency capacitance-voltage measurements, it was concluded that the surface passivation quality was governed by the interface parameters (fixed charge density and interface state density). High temperature firing of the SiOxNy/SiNv:H stack resulted in a severe degradation in τeff due to migration of oxygen across the interface into silicon. However, on using the SiOxNy/SiNv:H stack for emitter surface passivation in screen printed p-type Si solar cells, an improvement in short wavelength response was observed in comparison to the passivation by SiNv:H alone, indicating an improvement in emitter surface passivation quality.

  4. Titanium dioxide/silicon hole-blocking selective contact to enable double-heterojunction crystalline silicon-based solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagamatsu, Ken A.; Avasthi, Sushobhan; Sahasrabudhe, Girija; Man, Gabriel; Jhaveri, Janam; Berg, Alexander H.; Schwartz, Jeffrey; Kahn, Antoine; Wagner, Sigurd; Sturm, James C.

    2015-03-01

    In this work, we use an electron-selective titanium dioxide (TiO2) heterojunction contact to silicon to block minority carrier holes in the silicon from recombining at the cathode contact of a silicon-based photovoltaic device. We present four pieces of evidence demonstrating the beneficial effect of adding the TiO2 hole-blocking layer: reduced dark current, increased open circuit voltage (VOC), increased quantum efficiency at longer wavelengths, and increased stored minority carrier charge under forward bias. The importance of a low rate of recombination of minority carriers at the Si/TiO2 interface for effective blocking of minority carriers is quantitatively described. The anode is made of a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) heterojunction to silicon which forms a hole selective contact, so that the entire device is made at a maximum temperature of 100 °C, with no doping gradients or junctions in the silicon. A low rate of recombination of minority carriers at the Si/TiO2 interface is crucial for effective blocking of minority carriers. Such a pair of complementary carrier-selective heterojunctions offers a path towards high-efficiency silicon solar cells using relatively simple and near-room temperature fabrication techniques.

  5. Analysis of copper-rich precipitates in silicon: chemical state,gettering, and impact on multicrystalline silicon solar cellmaterial

    SciTech Connect

    Buonassisi, Tonio; Marcus, Matthew A.; Istratov, Andrei A.; Heuer, Matthias; Ciszek, Theodore F.; Lai, Barry; Cai, Zhonghou; Weber,Eicke R.

    2004-11-08

    In this study, synchrotron-based x-ray absorption microspectroscopy (mu-XAS) is applied to identifying the chemical states of copper-rich clusters within a variety of silicon materials, including as-grown cast multicrystalline silicon solar cell material with high oxygen concentration and other silicon materials with varying degrees of oxygen concentration and copper contamination pathways. In all samples, copper silicide (Cu3Si) is the only phase of copper identified. It is noted from thermodynamic considerations that unlike certain metal species, copper tends to form a silicide and not an oxidized compound because of the strong silicon-oxygen bonding energy; consequently the likelihood of encountering an oxidized copper particle in silicon is small, in agreement with experimental data. In light of these results, the effectiveness of aluminum gettering for the removal of copper from bulk silicon is quantified via x-ray fluorescence microscopy (mu-XRF),and a segregation coefficient is determined from experimental data to beat least (1-2)'103. Additionally, mu-XAS data directly demonstrates that the segregation mechanism of Cu in Al is the higher solubility of Cu in the liquid phase. In light of these results, possible limitations for the complete removal of Cu from bulk mc-Si are discussed.

  6. Titanium dioxide/silicon hole-blocking selective contact to enable double-heterojunction crystalline silicon-based solar cell

    SciTech Connect

    Nagamatsu, Ken A. Man, Gabriel; Jhaveri, Janam; Berg, Alexander H.; Kahn, Antoine; Wagner, Sigurd; Sturm, James C.; Avasthi, Sushobhan; Sahasrabudhe, Girija; Schwartz, Jeffrey

    2015-03-23

    In this work, we use an electron-selective titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) heterojunction contact to silicon to block minority carrier holes in the silicon from recombining at the cathode contact of a silicon-based photovoltaic device. We present four pieces of evidence demonstrating the beneficial effect of adding the TiO{sub 2} hole-blocking layer: reduced dark current, increased open circuit voltage (V{sub OC}), increased quantum efficiency at longer wavelengths, and increased stored minority carrier charge under forward bias. The importance of a low rate of recombination of minority carriers at the Si/TiO{sub 2} interface for effective blocking of minority carriers is quantitatively described. The anode is made of a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) heterojunction to silicon which forms a hole selective contact, so that the entire device is made at a maximum temperature of 100 °C, with no doping gradients or junctions in the silicon. A low rate of recombination of minority carriers at the Si/TiO{sub 2} interface is crucial for effective blocking of minority carriers. Such a pair of complementary carrier-selective heterojunctions offers a path towards high-efficiency silicon solar cells using relatively simple and near-room temperature fabrication techniques.

  7. Changes in efficiency of a solar cell according to various surface-etching shapes of silicon substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Min Gu; Tark, S.; Lee, Jeong Chul; Son, Chang-Sik; Kim, Donghwan

    2011-07-01

    When amorphous silicon thin film is deposited on n-type c-Si substrate, partial epi-layer of silicon grows mainly on the valley of the pyramid where two (1 1 1) planes meet. The epi-layer degrades a-Si/c-Si interface properties. This is the main cause which leads to a decrease in the efficiency of silicon heterojunction solar cells. In this study, we made various texture shapes of silicon substrate for heterojunction solar cells with n-type silicon wafers. Four different types of textures on silicon heterojunction were prepared: large textured, smoothened large textured, small textured, and smoothened small textured. Surface texturing is well known as one of the major paths to improving the efficiency of silicon solar cells by increasing the short-circuit current through effective photon trapping. The results were successful for silicon random texturing using potassium hydroxide (KOH) and tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) solutions. Silicon heterojunction solar cells were fabricated on textured substrates, indicating the feasibility of KOH and TMAH texturing for solar cell fabrication. We obtained images of the surface morphology using a scanning electron microscope. The interface cross-section was taken using a transmission electron microscope. We gained the optimized surface morphology of silicon substrate for a-Si/c-Si interface in silicon heterojunction solar cells.

  8. Thin film polycrystalline silicon solar cells. Second technical progress report, July 16, 1980-October 15, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    The objectives of this contract are to fabricate large area thin film silicon solar cells with AM1 efficiency of 10% or greater with good reproducibility and good yield and to assess the feasibility of implementing this process for manufacturing solar cells at a cost of $300/kWe. Efforts have been directed to the purification of metallurgical silicon, the preparation and characterization of substrates and epitaxial silicon layers, and the fabrication and characterization of solar cells. The partial purification of metallurgical silicon by extraction with aqua regia has been further investigated in detail, and the resulting silicon was analyzed by the atomic absorption technique. The unidirectional solidification of aqua regia-extracted metallurgical silicon on graphite was used for the preparation of substrates, and the impurity distribution in the substrate was determined and compared with the impurity content in metallurgical silicon. The effects of heat treatment on the impurity distribution in the substrate and in the epitaxial layer have also been investigated. Large area (30 to 60 cm/sup 2/) solar cells have been prepared from aqua regia-extracted metallurgical silicon substrates by depositing a p-n junction structure using the thermal reduction of trichlorosilane containing appropriate dopants. The AM1 efficiencies are about 9% for cells of 30 to 35 cm/sup 2/ area. Larger area, 60 cm/sup 2/, thin film solar cells have been fabricated for the first time, and their AM1 efficiencies are slightly higher than 8%. The spectral response, minority carrier diffusion length, and I/sub sc/-V/sub oc/ relation in a number of solr cells have been measured.

  9. Low cost solar array project 1: Silicon material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewett, D. N.; Bates, H. E.; Hill, D. M.

    1980-01-01

    The low cost production of silicon by deposition of silicon from a hydrogen/chlorosilane mixture is described. Reactor design, reaction vessel support systems (physical support, power control and heaters, and temperature monitoring systems) and operation of the system are reviewed. Testing of four silicon deposition reactors is described, and test data and consequently derived data are given. An 18% conversion of trichlorosilane to silicon was achieved, but average conversion rates were lower than predicted due to incomplete removal of byproduct gases for recycling and silicon oxide/silicon polymer plugging of the gas outlet. Increasing the number of baffles inside the reaction vessel improved the conversion rate. Plans for further design and process improvements to correct the problems encountered are outlined.

  10. Novel duplex vapor-electrochemical method for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kapur, V. K.; Nanis, L.; Sanjurjo, A.

    1977-01-01

    Silicon was produced by alternate pulse feeding of the reactants SiF4 gas and liquid sodium. The average temperature in the reactor could be controlled, by regulating the amount of reactant in each pulse. Silicon tetrafluoride gas was analyzed by mass spectrometry to determine the nature and amount of contained volatile impurities which included silicon oxyfluorides, sulfur oxyfluorides, and sulfur dioxide. Sodium metal was analyzed by emission spectrography, and it was found to contain only calcium and copper as impurities.

  11. Brayton cycle solarized advanced gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Described is the development of a Brayton Engine/Generator Set for solar thermal to electrical power conversion, authorized under DOE/NASA Contract DEN3-181. The objective was to design, fabricate, assemble, and test a small, hybrid, 20-kW Brayton-engine-powered generator set. The latter, called a power conversion assembly (PCA), is designed to operate with solar energy obtained from a parobolic dish concentrator, 11 meters in diameter, or with fossil energy supplied by burning fuels in a combustor, or by a combination of both (hybrid model). The CPA consists of the Brayton cycle engine, a solar collector, a belt-driven 20-kW generator, and the necessary control systems for automatic operation in solar-only, fuel-only, and hybrid modes to supply electrical power to a utility grid. The original configuration of the generator set used the GTEC Model GTP36-51 gas turbine engine for the PCA prime mover. However, subsequent development of the GTEC Model AGT101 led to its selection as the powersource for the PCA. Performance characteristics of the latter, thermally coupled to a solar collector for operation in the solar mode, are presented. The PCA was successfully demonstrated in the fuel-only mode at the GTEC Phoenix, Arizona, facilities prior to its shipment to Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for installation and testing on a test bed concentractor (parabolic dish). Considerations relative to Brayton-engine development using the all-ceramic AGT101 when it becomes available, which would satisfy the DOE heat engine efficiency goal of 35 to 41 percent, are also discussed in the report.

  12. Highly efficient industrial large-area black silicon solar cells achieved by surface nanostructured modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ping; Wei, Yi; Zhao, Zengchao; Tan, Xin; Bian, Jiming; Wang, Yuxuan; Lu, Chunxi; Liu, Aimin

    2015-12-01

    Traditional black silicon solar cells show relatively low efficiencies due to the high surface recombination occurring at the front surfaces. In this paper, we present a surface modification process to suppress surface recombination and fabricate highly efficient industrial black silicon solar cells. The Ag-nanoparticle-assisted etching is applied to realize front surface nanostructures on silicon wafers in order to reduce the surface reflectance. Through a further tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) treatment, the carrier recombination at and near the surface is greatly suppressed, due to a lower surface dopant concentration after the surface modification. This modified surface presents a low reflectivity in a range of 350-1100 nm. Large-area solar cells with an average conversion efficiency of 19.03% are achieved by using the TMAH treatment of 30 s. This efficiency is 0.18% higher than that of standard silicon solar cells with pyramidal surfaces, and also a remarkable improvement compared with black silicon solar cells without TMAH modifications.

  13. Newman unit 1 advanced solar repowering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1982-04-01

    The five appendices give the selection process and system specification of the Newman Unit 1 solar repowering system. The conceptual design drawings and diagrams; input data for the simulation program; and a review of the most important characteristics of the existing plant are included.

  14. Advances in Solar System Tests of Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eubanks, T. M.; Matsakis, D. N.; Martin, J. O.; Archinal, B. A.; McCarthy, D. D.; Klioner, S. A.; Shapiro, S.; Shapiro, I. I.

    1997-04-01

    The solar potential perturbs light propagating in the solar system, providing the basis for tests of gravity through Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations of radio waves from extragalactic radio sources. Such observations determine the γ parameter of the Parameterized Post Newtonian (PPN) expansion of the spacetime metric, with the effect being largest for raypaths close to the Sun. The determination of γ is currently improving rapidly, both due to improvements in the VLBI state-of-the-art, and the current ``quiet'' stage of the solar cycle, which facilitates observations of sources angularly close to the Sun. The VLBI data can be combined with recent estimates of the Nordtvedt parameter using Lunar Laser Ranging and determinations of the perihelion precession of Mercury to estimate both the PPN γ and β parameters, yielding γ = 0.99994 ± 0.00031 and β = 0.99981 ± 0.00026, together with a solar J2 estimate of (-1.8 ± 4.5) \\cdot 10-7. These data are thus consistent with General Relativity at the level of ~3 parts in 10^4 (one standard error).

  15. Automated assembly of Gallium Arsenide and 50-micron thick silicon solar cell modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mesch, H. G.

    1984-01-01

    The TRW automated solar array assembly equipment was used for the module assembly of 300 GaAs solar cells and 300 50 micron thick silicon solar cells (2 x 4 cm in size). These cells were interconnected with silver plated Invar tabs by means of welding. The GaAs cells were bonded to Kapton graphite aluminum honeycomb graphite substrates and the thin silicon cells were bonded to 0.002 inch thick single layer Kapton substrates. The GaAs solar cell module assembly resulted in a yield of 86% and the thin cell assembly produced a yield of 46% due to intermittent sticking of weld electrodes during the front cell contact welding operation. (Previously assembled thin cell solar modules produced an overall assembly yield of greater than 80%).

  16. Significant light absorption enhancement in silicon thin film tandem solar cells with metallic nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Boyuan; Li, Xiangping; Zhang, Yinan; Jia, Baohua

    2016-05-01

    Enhancing the light absorption in microcrystalline silicon bottom cell of a silicon-based tandem solar cell for photocurrent matching holds the key to achieving the overall solar cell performance breakthroughs. Here, we present a concept for significantly improving the absorption of both subcells simultaneously by simply applying tailored metallic nanoparticles both on the top and at the rear surfaces of the solar cells. Significant light absorption enhancement as large as 56% has been achieved in the bottom subcells. More importantly the thickness of the microcrystalline layer can be reduced by 57% without compromising the optical performance of the tandem solar cell, providing a cost-effective strategy for high performance tandem solar cells.

  17. Significant light absorption enhancement in silicon thin film tandem solar cells with metallic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Cai, Boyuan; Li, Xiangping; Zhang, Yinan; Jia, Baohua

    2016-05-13

    Enhancing the light absorption in microcrystalline silicon bottom cell of a silicon-based tandem solar cell for photocurrent matching holds the key to achieving the overall solar cell performance breakthroughs. Here, we present a concept for significantly improving the absorption of both subcells simultaneously by simply applying tailored metallic nanoparticles both on the top and at the rear surfaces of the solar cells. Significant light absorption enhancement as large as 56% has been achieved in the bottom subcells. More importantly the thickness of the microcrystalline layer can be reduced by 57% without compromising the optical performance of the tandem solar cell, providing a cost-effective strategy for high performance tandem solar cells. PMID:27040376

  18. Progress to Develop an Advanced Solar-Selective Coating

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, C. E.

    2008-03-01

    The progress to develop a durable advanced solar-selective coating will be described. Experimental work has focused on modeling high-temperature, solar-selective coatings; depositing the individual layers and modeled coatings; measuring the optical, thermal, morphology, and compositional properties and using the data to validate the modeled and deposited properties; re-optimizing the coating; and testing the coating performance and durability.

  19. Development of Nanosized/Nanostructured Silicon as Advanced Anodes for Lithium-Ion Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, James J.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing high energy and high capacity Li-ion cell and battery designs for future exploration missions under the NASA Advanced Space Power System (ASPS) Program. The specific energy goal is 265 Wh/kg at 10 C. center dot Part of effort for NASA advanced Li-ion cells ? Anode: Silicon (Si) as an advanced anode. ? Electrolyte: advanced electrolyte with flame-retardant additives for enhanced performance and safety (NASA JPL).

  20. Silicon solar cells reaching the efficiency limits: from simple to complex modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalczewski, Piotr; Redorici, Lisa; Bozzola, Angelo; Andreani, Lucio Claudio

    2016-05-01

    Numerical modelling is pivotal in the development of high efficiency solar cells. In this contribution we present different approaches to model the solar cell performance: the diode equation, a generalization of the well-known Hovel model, and a complete device modelling. In all three approaches we implement a Lambertian light trapping, which is often considered as a benchmark for the optical design of solar cells. We quantify the range of parameters for which all three approaches give the same results, and highlight the advantages and limitations of different models. Using these methods we calculate the efficiency limits of single-junction crystalline silicon solar cells in a wide range of cell thickness. We find that silicon solar cells close to the efficiency limits operate in the high-injection (rather than in the low-injection) regime. In such a regime, surface recombination can have an unexpectedly large effect on cells with the absorber thickness lower than a few tens of microns. Finally, we calculate the limiting efficiency of tandem silicon-perovskite solar cells, and we determine the optimal thickness of the bottom silicon cell for different band gaps of the perovskite material.