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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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (less than 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. 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.

  4. Further advances in silicon solar cell technology for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillington, D. R.; Kukulka, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    Recent improvements relating to the design of high efficiency cells are presented. A conceptual design using passivation techniques is discussed, which potentially increases the open circuit voltage to approximately 650 mV. This concept is supported by experimental data using only silicon passivation beneath contacts. The use of thin thermal oxides of silicon for passivation between contacts is also discussed. A number of novel structures have also been fabricated to investigate reduction in the thermal alpha of planar and sculptured cells. It is shown that this may be as low as 0.63 on glassed gridded back cells, and that the IR rejection beyond 1.1 microns may approach 100 percent if the backside is AR coated. Finally, experimental data is given to support the existence of free electron absorption in heavily doped emitters on sculptured cells.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Advanced APCVD-processes for high-temperature grown crystalline silicon thin film solar cells.

    PubMed

    Driessen, Marion; Merkel, Benjamin; Reber, Stefan

    2011-09-01

    Crystalline silicon thin film (cSiTF) solar cells based on the epitaxial wafer-equivalent (EpiWE) concept combine advantages of wafer-based and thin film silicon solar cells. In this paper two processes beyond the standard process sequence for cSiTF cell fabrication are described. The first provides an alternative to wet chemical saw damage removal by chemical vapor etching (CVE) with hydrogen chloride in-situ prior to epitaxial deposition. This application decreases the number of process and handling steps. Solar cells fabricated with different etching processes achieved efficiencies up to 14.7%. 1300 degrees C etching temperature led to better cell results than 1200 degrees C. The second investigated process aims for an improvement of cell efficiency by implementation of a reflecting interlayer between substrate and active solar cell. Some characteristics of epitaxial lateral overgrowth (ELO) of a patterned silicon dioxide film in a lab-type reactor constructed at Fraunhofer ISE are described and first solar cell results are presented.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Low cost silicon solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldsmith, J. V.; Cleland, J. W.; Westbrook, R. D.; Davis, H. L.; Wood, R. F.; Lindmayer, J.; Wakefield, G. F.

    1975-01-01

    The economic production of silicon solar cell arrays circumvents p-n junction degradation by nuclear doping, in which the Si-30 transmutes to P-31 after thermal neutron capture. Also considered are chemical purity specifications for improved silicon bulk states, surface induced states, and surface states.

  15. 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%.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Lithium counterdoped silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, I. (Inventor); Brandhorst, H. W., Jr. (Inventor)

    1986-01-01

    The resistance to radiation damage of an n(+)p boron doped silicon solar cell is improved by lithium counterdoping. Even though lithium is an n-dopant in silicon, the lithium is introduced in small enough quantities so that the cell base remains p-type. The lithium is introduced into the solar cell wafer by implantation of lithium ions whose energy is about 50 keV. After this lithium implantation, the wafer is annealed in a nitrogen atmosphere at 375 C for two hours.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced solar space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohlin, J. D.

    1979-01-01

    The space missions in solar physics planned for the next decade are similar in that they will have, for the most part, distinct, unifying science objectives in contrast to the more general 'exploratory' nature of the Orbiting Solar Observatory and Skylab/ATM missions of the 1960's and 70's. In particular, the strategy for advanced solar physics space missions will focus on the quantitative understanding of the physical processes that create and control the flow of electromagnetic and particulate energy from the sun and through interplanetary space at all phases of the current sunspot cycle No. 21. Attention is given to the Solar Maximum Mission, the International Solar Polar Mission, solar physics on an early Shuttle mission, principal investigator class experiments for future spacelabs, the Solar Optical Telescope, the Space Science Platform, the Solar Cycle and Dynamics Mission, and an attempt to send a spacecraft to within 4 solar radii of the sun's surface.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Point contact silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swanson, Richard M.

    1987-01-01

    A new type of silicon solar cell has been developed. It is called the point-contact cell because the metal semiconductor contacts are restricted to an array of small points on the back of the cell. The point contact cell has recently demonstrated 22 percent conversion efficiency at one sun and 27.5 percent at 100 suns under an AM1.5 spectrum.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Advanced solar dynamic technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calogeras, James

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs and discussion on Advanced Solar Dynamic Technology Program are presented. Topics covered include: advanced solar dynamic technology program; advanced concentrators; advanced heat receivers; power conversion systems; dished all metal honeycomb sandwich panels; Stirling cavity heat pipe receiver; Brayton solar receiver; and thermal energy storage technology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. High-efficiency silicon solar cell research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daud, T.

    1984-01-01

    Progress reports on research in high-efficiency silicon solar cells were presented by eight contractors and JPL. The presentations covered the issues of Bulk and Surface Loss, Modeling, Measurements, and Proof of Concept.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Compensated amorphous-silicon solar cell

    DOEpatents

    Devaud, G.

    1982-06-21

    An amorphous silicon solar cell including an electrically conductive substrate, a layer of glow discharge deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon 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 elecrically 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Towards stable silicon nanoarray hybrid solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Development of an economical silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1975-01-01

    The growth of electronically viable silicon films on inexpensive foreign substrates is studied, with the objective of creating a technology to radically reduce the overall cost of the silicon employed in photovoltaic solar energy conversion. The approach employed is to enhance crystalline ordering during film nucleation by confining arriving silicon atoms to a narrow band traveling across a substrate, i.e., the Lateral Growth Technique (LGT). The efforts have employed physical vapor deposition of silicon in a vacuum evaporator on glass and metal substrates with both slit masks and single defining edges, and subsequent chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of thicker films on these thin film structures by pyrolysis of silane at higher temperatures.

  1. 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

  2. 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%.

  3. 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%.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Direct glassing of silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, P. A.; Crabb, R. L.; Dollery, A. A.

    1989-08-01

    An alternative method of attaching coverglasses to silicon solar cells, currently achieved using silicon adhesives, is presented. The process is a direct bond between the glass and cell and uses an electrostatic technique. An essential preequisite of the process is a coverglass with the same expansion coefficient as the cell. The coverglass and cell are joined by a permanent, chemical, anodic bond which is formed by subjecting the cell and coverglass to voltage, temperature and pressure whilst in intimate contact with each other. Since the front surface of the solar cell is one of the bonding interfaces, it is important to understand the significance of any changes in the bonding process to the cell. The basic theory of direct glassing is reviewed. Recent results of research in this area are presented.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. Feasibility of low cost silicon solar cells.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currin, C. G.; Smith, W. A.; Ling, K. S.; Ralph, E. L.; Stirn, R. J.

    1972-01-01

    Future costs of silicon solar cells are projected on the basis of more than a thousand-fold increase in volume. If no major application of new manufacturing technology is made, the cost remains excessive for any large scale energy system. However, the development of a multiple-ribbon crystal growth process could permit a 300-fold reduction in cell costs to about $375/kW of cell output.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Silicon solar cell fabrication technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stafsudd, O. M.

    1979-01-01

    The laser cell scanner was used to characterize a number of solar cells made in various materials. An electron beam-induced current (EBIC) study was performed using a stereoscan scanning electron microscope. Planar p-n junctions were analyzed. A theory for the EBIC based on the analytical solution of the ambipolar diffusion equation under the influence of electron beam excitation parameter z (which is related to beam penetration), the junction depth Z sub j, the beam current and the surface recombination, was formulated and tested. The effect of a grain boundary was studied.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. High efficiency silicon concentrator solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jianhua

    1990-06-01

    Techniques were investigated for improving the energy conversion efficiency of silicon concentrator solar cells. This aim was achieved with the demonstration of bifacially contacted silicon concentrator solar cells of markedly superior performance. An additional achievement was the demonstration of substantial improvements in the performance of non-concentrating, one-sun cells. The improvements in the one-sun cell area were achieved by optimization of the Passivated Emitter Solar Cell (PESC) technology. Aluminum gettering and emitter surface oxide-passivation played key roles for the PESC cells. The optimized PESC one-sun cell demonstrated an independently confirmed efficiency of 21.4 percent. The optimized PESC technology was also successfully applied to the fabrication of silicon concentrator cells on low resistivity substrates. The effects of metal contact resistance and heavy phosphorus diffusion were areas requiring additional careful investigation in this case. A concentrator cell after optimization demonstrated 23.4 percent efficiency at 100 suns, again independently confirmed. Although very high by normal standards, the efficiency was limited by the trade-off of the resistance and the shading of the front metal fingers. The need for the trade-off was eliminated by the application of prismatic covers, which steer the incident light onto the cell active areas avoiding metal fingers. The Passivated Emitter and Rear Cells (PERC) incorporating TCA (trichloro-ethane) processing improved the one-sun cell efficiency further to 21.8 percent. The improvement came from low recombination at surfaces and in the bulk resulting from the TCA processing and from reduced rear contact area. Antireflection coatings and prismatic cover design were also theoretically optimized. When combined with light trapping techniques, 27 percent efficiency silicon concentrator cell will be obtained with this approach in the near future.

  8. Silicon quantum dot superlattice solar cell structure including silicon nanocrystals in a photogeneration layer

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The solar cell structure of n-type poly-silicon/5-nm-diameter silicon nanocrystals embedded in an amorphous silicon oxycarbide matrix (30 layers)/p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon/Al electrode was fabricated on a quartz substrate. An open-circuit voltage and a fill factor of 518 mV and 0.51 in the solar cell were obtained, respectively. The absorption edge of the solar cell was 1.49 eV, which corresponds to the optical bandgap of the silicon nanocrystal materials, suggesting that it is possible to fabricate the solar cells with silicon nanocrystal materials, whose bandgaps are wider than that of crystalline silicon. PACS 85.35.Be; 84.60.Jt; 78.67.Bf PMID:24936160

  9. Diode laser processed crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varlamov, S.; Eggleston, B.; Dore, J.; Evans, R.; Ong, D.; Kunz, O.; Huang, J.; Schubert, U.; Kim, K. H.; Egan, R.; Green, M.

    2013-03-01

    Line-focus diode laser is applied to advance crystalline silicon thin-film solar cell technology. Three new processes have been developed: 1) defect annealing/dopant activation; 2) dopant diffusion; 3) liquid phase crystallisation of thin films. The former two processes are applied to either create a solar cell device from pre-crystallised films or improve its performance while reducing the maximum temperature experienced by substrate. The later process is applied to amorphous silicon films to obtain high crystal and electronic quality material for thin-film solar cells with higher efficiency potential. Defect annealing/dopant activation and dopant diffusion in a few micron thick poly-Si films are achieved by scanning with line-focus 808 nm diode laser beam at 15-24 kW/cm2 laser power and 2~6 ms exposure. Temperature profile in the film during the treatment is independent from laser power and exposure but determined by beam shape. Solar cell open-circuit voltages of about 500 mV after such laser treatments is similar or even higher than voltages after standard rapid-thermal treatments while the highest temperature experienced by glass is 300C lower. Amorphous silicon films can be melted and subsequently liquid-phase crystallised by a single scan of line laser beam at about 20 kW/cm2 power and 10-15 ms exposure. Solar cells made of laser-crystallised material achieve 557 mV opencircuit voltage and 8.4% efficiency. Electronic quality of such cells is consistent with efficiencies exceeding 13% and it is currently limited by research-level simplified cell metallisation.

  10. Identification of some key parameters limiting the performance of high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mokashi, Anant R.; Daud, Taher; Kachare, Ram H.

    1986-01-01

    This paper presents, for the first time, a detailed sensitivity analysis of key cell parameters on silicon-cell efficiency by incorporating advanced solar cell physics in a sophisticated numerical simulation program. It delineates the true physical barriers to obtaining a high-efficiency silicon solar cell. Specific parameters presently limiting cell efficiency are identified to be the minority carrier lifetime and the recombination velocities at the front and back surfaces. Practical cell efficiencies in the vicinity of 22 percent are estimated to be attainable by using good quality silicon crystal and substantially reducing surface recombination velocities.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. V-grooved silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, C. R.; Brandhorst, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    Silicon solar cells with macroscopic V-shaped grooves and microscopically texturized surfaces have been made by preferential etching techniques. Various conditions for potassium hydroxide and hydrazine hydrate etching were investigated. Optical reflection losses from these surface were reduced. The reduced reflection occurred at all wavelengths and resulted in improved short circuit current and spectral response. Improved collection efficiency is also expected from this structure due to generation of carriers closer to the cell junction. Microscopic point measurements of collected current using a scanning electron microscope showed that current collected at the peaks of the texturized surface were only 80% of those collected in the valleys.

  14. V-grooved silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, C. R.; Brandhorst, H. W., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    Silicon solar cells with macroscopic V-shaped grooves and microscopically texturized surfaces were made by preferential etching techniques. Various conditions for potassium hydroxide and hydrazine hydrate etching were investigated. Optical reflection losses from these surface were reduced. The reduced reflection occurred at all wavelengths and resulted in improved short circuit current and spectral response. Improved collection efficiency is also expected from this structure due to generation of carriers closer to the cell junction. Microscopic point measurements of collected current using a scanning electron microscope showed that current collected at the peaks of the texturized surface were only 80 percent of those collected in the valleys.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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%.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. A base-metal conductor system for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coleman, M. G.; Pryor, R. A.; Sparks, T. G.

    1980-01-01

    Solder, copper, and silver are evaluated as conductor layer metals for silicon solar cell metallization on the basis of metal price stability and reliability under operating conditions. Due to its properties and cost, copper becomes an attractive candidate for the conductor layer. It is shown that nickel operates as an excellent diffusion barrier between copper and silicon while simultaneously serving as an electrical contact and mechanical contact to silicon. The nickel-copper system may be applied to the silicon by plating techniques utilizing a variety of plating bath compositions. Solar cells having excellent current-voltage characteristics are fabricated to demonstrate the nickel-copper metallization system.

  5. Dendritic web silicon for solar cell application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seidensticker, R. G.

    1977-01-01

    The dendritic web process for growing long thin ribbon crystals of silicon and other semiconductors is described. Growth is initiated from a thin wirelike dendrite seed which is brought into contact with the melt surface. Initially, the seed grows laterally to form a button at the melt surface; when the seed is withdrawn, needlelike dendrites propagate from each end of the button into the melt, and the web portion of the crystal is formed by the solidification of the liquid film supported by the button and the bounding dendrites. Apparatus used for dendritic web growth, material characteristics, and the two distinctly different mechanisms involved in the growth of a single crystal are examined. The performance of solar cells fabricated from dendritic web material is indistinguishable from the performance of cells fabricated from Czochralski grown material.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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)

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Flexible Protocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells with Amorphous Buffer Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, Yasuaki; Schubert, Markus B.

    2006-09-01

    A low deposition temperature of 110 °C is mandatory for directly growing amorphous-silicon-based solar cells on plastic foil. The optimum absorber material at this low temperature is protocrystalline, i.e., right at the transition between amorphous and crystalline silicon. Polyethylene terephtalate foil of 50 μm thickness form the substrate of our flexible p-i-n single-junction cells. We discuss three peculiar processing techniques for achieving the maximum photovoltaic conversion efficiency of flexible low-temperature solar cells. First, we employ an optimized microcrystalline silicon p-type window layer; second, we use protocrystalline silicon for the i-layer; third, we insert an undoped amorphous silicon buffer layer at the p/i interface. The best flexible cells attain power conversion efficiencies of up to 4.9%.

  14. Thin single-crystalline silicon solar cells for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijs, J.; Caymax, M.; Acke, P.; Roggen, J.; Lambrechts, M.; Gravesen, P.

    1986-11-01

    A technology to perform etching after the formation of the solar cell, using epitaxial deposition of the active layer of the cell combined with an etch stop technique is proposed. This can result in highly efficient silicon solar cells with thicknesses down to 10 microns.

  15. 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.

  16. Thin foil silicon solar cells with coplanar back contacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, F.; Iles, P. A.; Baraona, C. R.

    1981-01-01

    To fabricate 50 microns thick, coplanar back contact (CBC) silicon solar cells, wraparound junction design was selected and proved to be effective. The process sequence used, the cell design, and the cell performance are described. CBC cells with low solar absorptance have shown AMO efficiencies to 13%, high cells up to 14%; further improvements are projected with predictable optimization.

  17. Investigations of silicon nitride films for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Elmiger, J.R.; Kunst, M.

    1996-12-31

    Silicon nitride films on crystalline silicon were deposited in a low-temperature (<400 C) Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition process. The deposition process is monitored with in situ Time Resolved Microwave Conductivity measurements leading to an on-line quality control of the deposited films. It is shown that at the start of the deposition there is a strong decrease of the lifetime of the measured transient signal due to plasma induced damage at the silicon surface. Afterwards an increase of the lifetime is observed due to passivation of the interface. For thin films (<30 nm), the lifetime and the film composition depend on the film thickness. Furthermore, the film composition has a strong impact on the passivation of thick (100 nm) silicon nitride films. The best passivation is obtained for almost stoichiometric films characterized by a refractive index of 1.95.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Thermoreflectance and multimode imaging for defect location in silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domash, Lawrence; McCarthy, Kevin; Zhou, Qiaoer; Al-Hemyari, Kadhair; Hu, Xiaolin; Hudgings, Janice

    2010-08-01

    Silicon solar cells suffer from defects such as microcracks and shunts that limit performance and reliability. We describe a new family of imaging techniques, including lock-in thermoreflectance and mechanoreflectance, which offer much higher spatial resolution and lower cost than current methods for inspection of solar cells. These techniques are based on advanced image processing algorithms for detection of very small variations in optical reflectance, using ordinary visible light CCD cameras. The image data can be merged with conventional techniques such as electroluminescence, in one camera system. Experimental results and comparison with conventional techniques for evaluation of solar cells are presented.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Review of silicon photonics: history and recent advances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Winnie N.; Xiong, Yule

    2013-09-01

    Silicon photonics has attracted tremendous attention and research effort as a promising technology in optoelectronic integration for computing, communications, sensing, and solar harvesting. Mainly due to the combination of its excellent material properties and the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication processing technology, silicon has becoming the material choice for photonic and optoelectronic circuits with low cost, ultra-compact device footprint, and high-density integration. This review paper provides an overview on silicon photonics, by highlighting the early work from the mid-1980s on the fundamental building blocks such as silicon platforms and waveguides, and the main milestones that have been achieved so far in the field. A summary of reported work on functional elements in both passive and active devices, as well as the applications of the technology in interconnect, sensing, and solar cells, is identified.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. A magnesium/amorphous silicon passivating contact for n-type crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Yimao; Samundsett, Chris; Yan, Di; Allen, Thomas; Peng, Jun; Cui, Jie; Zhang, Xinyu; Bullock, James; Cuevas, Andres

    2016-09-01

    Among the metals, magnesium has one of the lowest work functions, with a value of 3.7 eV. This makes it very suitable to form an electron-conductive cathode contact for silicon solar cells. We present here the experimental demonstration of an amorphous silicon/magnesium/aluminium (a-Si:H/Mg/Al) passivating contact for silicon solar cells. The conduction properties of a thermally evaporated Mg/Al contact structure on n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) are investigated, achieving a low resistivity Ohmic contact to moderately doped n-type c-Si (˜5 × 1015 cm-3) of ˜0.31 Ω cm2 and ˜0.22 Ω cm2 for samples with and without an amorphous silicon passivating interlayer, respectively. Application of the passivating cathode to the whole rear surface of n-type front junction c-Si solar cells leads to a power conversion efficiency of 19% in a proof-of-concept device. The low thermal budget of the cathode formation, its dopant-less nature, and the simplicity of the device structure enabled by the Mg/Al contact open up possibilities in designing and fabricating low-cost silicon solar cells.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Increased radiation resistance in lithium-counterdoped silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, I.; Swartz, C. K.; Mehta, S.

    1984-01-01

    Lithium-counterdoped n(+)p silicon solar cells are found to exhibit significantly increased radiation resistance to 1-MeV electron irradiation when compared to boron-doped n(+)p silicon solar cells. In addition to improved radiation resistance, considerable damage recovery by annealing is observed in the counterdoped cells at T less than or equal to 100 C. Deep level transient spectroscopy measurements are used to identify the defect whose removal results in the low-temperature aneal. It is suggested that the increased radiation resistance of the counterdoped cells is primarily due to interaction of the lithium with interstitial oxygen.

  5. 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.

  6. 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%.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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%.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Crystalline silicon solar cells with high resistivity emitter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panek, P.; Drabczyk, K.; Zięba, P.

    2009-06-01

    The paper presents a part of research targeted at the modification of crystalline silicon solar cell production using screen-printing technology. The proposed process is based on diffusion from POCl3 resulting in emitter with a sheet resistance on the level of 70 Ω/□ and then, shaped by high temperature passivation treatment. The study was focused on a shallow emitter of high resistivity and on its influence on output electrical parameters of a solar cell. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) has been employed for appropriate distinguishing the total donor doped profile. The solar cell parameters were characterized by current-voltage characteristics and spectral response (SR) methods. Some aspects playing a role in suitable manufacturing process were discussed. The situation in a photovoltaic industry with emphasis on silicon supply and current prices of solar cells, modules and photovoltaic (PV) systems are described. The economic and quantitative estimation of the PV world market is shortly discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pin solar cells made of amorphous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plaettner, R. D.; Kruehler, W. W.

    Investigations leading to solar cells with a structure SnO2-pin and an efficiency up to 9.8% are reviewed. The production of large-surface metal/pin/transparent conductive oxide (TCO)-solar cells is discussed. A two-chamber reactor, grid structure and tinning of cells, and an a-Si-module are described. The production of glass/TCO/pin/metal-solar cells and a-SiGe:H-compounds is outlined. Measurements on solar cells and diodes including the efficiency of a-Si:H-solar cells, spectral sensitivity, diffusion lengths, field effect measurements, and modifications of solar cells (space-charge limited currents, reduction of solar cells aging) are treated.

  17. Performance Enhancement of Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells by Coating with Luminescent Silicon Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Tuhin Shuvra; Ray, Mallar; Bandyopadhyay, Nil Ratan; Pramanick, Ashit Kumar; Hossain, Syed Minhaz

    2013-03-01

    In this work we report a technique that is potentially capable of increasing the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells, which dominate the present-day market of photovoltaic devices. The simple and cost-effective method involves coating the surface of a commercially procured silicon solar cell with luminescent silicon nanocrystals. Core/shell silicon/silicon-oxide nanostructures are fabricated by an inexpensive and reproducible technique, where coarse silicon powders are repeatedly milled, oxidized, and etched until their sizes are reduced so as to exhibit room-temperature photoluminescence under ultraviolet excitation. A thin coating of these nanostructures on a standard solar cell, obtained by a simple dip-coating method, increases the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current, which consequently increases the maximum power delivered by ~16.3% and efficiency by almost ˜39%. We propose that the core/shell nanostructures act as luminescent convertors that convert higher-energy photons to lower-energy photons, thereby leading to less thermal relaxation loss of photoexcited carriers.

  18. 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.

  19. 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%.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Polycrystalline silicon on glass for thin-film solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Martin A.

    2009-07-01

    Although most solar cell modules to date have been based on crystalline or polycrystalline wafers, these may be too material intensive and hence always too expensive to reach the very low costs required for large-scale impact of photovoltaics on the energy scene. Polycrystalline silicon on glass (CSG) solar cell technology was developed to address this difficulty as well as perceived fundamental difficulties with other thin-film technologies. The aim was to combine the advantages of standard silicon wafer-based technology, namely ruggedness, durability, good electronic properties and environmental soundness with the advantages of thin-films, specifically low material use, large monolithic construction and a desirable glass superstrate configuration. The challenge has been to match the different preferred processing temperatures of silicon and glass and to obtain strong solar absorption in notoriously weakly-absorbing silicon of only 1-2 micron thickness. A rugged, durable silicon thin-film technology has been developed with amongst the lowest manufacturing cost of these contenders and confirmed efficiency for small pilot line modules already in the 10-11% energy conversion efficiency range, on the path to 12-13%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Grain size dependence of silicon solar cell parameters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koliwad, K. M.; Daud, T.

    1980-01-01

    Measurements of the non-uniform diffusion length of the minority carriers near grain boundaries in polycrystalline silicon have been used to develop an analytical model for the calculation of solar cell output as a function of grain size. Experimental results are presented which verify the theoretical analysis. Variation of open circuit voltage and fill factor with grain size is discussed.

  6. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1975-01-01

    Specific power output and radiation resistance characteristics developed for thin film silicon solar cells are reported. The technological base for fabricating these high efficiency cells and limitations of cell photovoltage are included. In addition, optical and electronic measurement instrumentation and mathematical analyses aids are included. Antireflection coatings for these cells are discussed.

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

    ScienceCinema

    Branz, Howard

    2016-07-12

    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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Stable passivations for high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruenbaum, P. E.; Gan, J. Y.; King, R. R.; Swanson, R. M.

    Initial designs of single-crystal silicon point-contact solar cells have shown a degradation in their efficiency after being exposed to concentrated sunlight. The main mechanism appears to be an increase in recombination centers at the Si/SiO2 interface due to ultraviolet light photoinjecting electrons from the silicon conduction band into the silicon dioxide that passivates the cell's front surface. Trichloroethane, texturization, and aluminum during the forming gas anneal all contribute to the instability of the interface. A reasonably good resistance to UV light can be obtained by putting a phosphorus diffusion at the surface and can be improved further by stripping off the deposited oxide after the diffusion and regrowing a dry thermal oxide. A second technique, which utilizes ultrathin oxides and thin polysilicon films and can yield stable point-contact solar cells that are more efficient at higher concentrations, is also described.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Transparent conductive oxides for thin-film silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Löffler, J.

    2005-04-01

    This thesis describes research on thin-film silicon solar cells with focus on the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) for such devices. In addition to the formation of a transparent and electrically conductive front electrode for the solar cell allowing photocurrent collection with low ohmic losses, the front TCO plays an important role for the light enhancement of thin-film silicon pin type solar cells. If the TCO is rough, light scattering at rough interfaces in the solar cell in combination with a highly reflective back contact leads to an increase in optical path length of the light. Multiple (total) internal reflectance leads to virtual 'trapping' of the light in the solar cell structure, allowing a further decrease in absorber thickness and thus thin-film silicon solar cell devices with higher and more stable efficiency. Here, the optical mechanisms involved in the light trapping in thin-film silicon solar cells have been studied, and two types of front TCO materials have been investigated with respect to their suitability as front TCO in thin-film silicon pin type solar cells. Undoped and aluminum doped zinc oxide layers have been fabricated for the first time by the expanding thermal plasma chemical vapour deposition (ETP CVD) technique at substrate temperatures between 150 º C and 350 º C, and successfully implemented as a front electrode material for amorphous silicon pin superstrate type solar cells. Solar cells with efficiencies comparable to cells on Asahi U-type reference TCO have been reproducibly obtained. A higher haze is needed for the ZnO samples studied here than for Asahi U-type TCO in order to achieve comparable long wavelength response of the solar cells. This is attributed to the different angular distribution of the scattered light, showing higher scattering intensities at large angles for the Asahi U-type TCO. A barrier at the TCO/p interface and minor collection problems may explain the slightly lower fill factors obtained for the cells

  19. Advances in Perovskite Solar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Chuantian; Bolink, Henk J.; Han, Hongwei; Huang, Jinsong

    2016-01-01

    Organolead halide perovskite materials possess a combination of remarkable optoelectronic properties, such as steep optical absorption edge and high absorption coefficients, long charge carrier diffusion lengths and lifetimes. Taken together with the ability for low temperature preparation, also from solution, perovskite‐based devices, especially photovoltaic (PV) cells have been studied intensively, with remarkable progress in performance, over the past few years. The combination of high efficiency, low cost and additional (non‐PV) applications provides great potential for commercialization. Performance and applications of perovskite solar cells often correlate with their device structures. Many innovative device structures were developed, aiming at large‐scale fabrication, reducing fabrication cost, enhancing the power conversion efficiency and thus broadening potential future applications. This review summarizes typical structures of perovskite solar cells and comments on novel device structures. The applications of perovskite solar cells are discussed. PMID:27812475

  20. Epitaxial silicon growth for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

    Growth and fabrication procedures for the baseline solar cells are described along with measured cell parameters, and the results. Reproducibility of these results was established and the direction to be taken for higher efficiency is identified.

  1. 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%.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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%.

  10. 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%.

  11. 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.

  12. Solar power conversion efficiency in modulated silicon nanowire photonic crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deinega, Alexei; John, Sajeev

    2012-10-01

    It is suggested that using only 1 μm of silicon, sculpted in the form of a modulated nanowire photonic crystal, solar power conversion efficiency in the range of 15%-20% can be achieved. Choosing a specific modulation profile provides antireflection, light trapping, and back-reflection over broad angles in targeted spectral regions for high efficiency power conversion without solar tracking. Solving both Maxwell's equations in the 3D photonic crystal and the semiconductor drift-diffusion equations in each nanowire, we identify optimal junction and contact geometries and study the influence of the nanowire surface curvature on solar cell efficiency. We demonstrate that suitably modulated nanowires enable 20% efficiency improvement over their straight counterparts made of an equivalent amount of silicon. We also discuss the efficiency of a tandem amorphous and crystalline silicon nanowire photonic crystal solar cell. Opportunities for "hot carrier" collection and up-conversion of infrared light, enhanced by photonic crystal geometry, facilitate further improvements in power efficiency.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Coaxial silicon nanowires as solar cells and nanoelectronic power sources.

    PubMed

    Tian, Bozhi; Zheng, Xiaolin; Kempa, Thomas J; Fang, Ying; Yu, Nanfang; Yu, Guihua; Huang, Jinlin; Lieber, Charles M

    2007-10-18

    Solar cells are attractive candidates for clean and renewable power; with miniaturization, they might also serve as integrated power sources for nanoelectronic systems. The use of nanostructures or nanostructured materials represents a general approach to reduce both cost and size and to improve efficiency in photovoltaics. Nanoparticles, nanorods and nanowires have been used to improve charge collection efficiency in polymer-blend and dye-sensitized solar cells, to demonstrate carrier multiplication, and to enable low-temperature processing of photovoltaic devices. Moreover, recent theoretical studies have indicated that coaxial nanowire structures could improve carrier collection and overall efficiency with respect to single-crystal bulk semiconductors of the same materials. However, solar cells based on hybrid nanoarchitectures suffer from relatively low efficiencies and poor stabilities. In addition, previous studies have not yet addressed their use as photovoltaic power elements in nanoelectronics. Here we report the realization of p-type/intrinsic/n-type (p-i-n) coaxial silicon nanowire solar cells. Under one solar equivalent (1-sun) illumination, the p-i-n silicon nanowire elements yield a maximum power output of up to 200 pW per nanowire device and an apparent energy conversion efficiency of up to 3.4 per cent, with stable and improved efficiencies achievable at high-flux illuminations. Furthermore, we show that individual and interconnected silicon nanowire photovoltaic elements can serve as robust power sources to drive functional nanoelectronic sensors and logic gates. These coaxial silicon nanowire photovoltaic elements provide a new nanoscale test bed for studies of photoinduced energy/charge transport and artificial photosynthesis, and might find general usage as elements for powering ultralow-power electronics and diverse nanosystems.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Optical stability of silicon nitride MIS inversion layer solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaeger, K.; Hezel, R.

    1985-09-01

    For MIS inversion layer solar cells with silicon nitride as an AR coating, accelerated optical stress tests were performed. Degradation of the cell characteristics occurred which was found to be caused by photons with energies equal to or greater than 3.7 eV (wavelength of 335 nm or less). Generation of interface states at the silicon-insulator interface by UV light is shown to be the mechanism responsible. The original cell data could be completely restored by heat treatment (activation energy 0.5 eV) and partially by illumination with short-wavelength light. As the most striking result, however, it is demonstrated that the UV light-induced instability can be drastically improved by incorporation of cesium ions into the silicon nitride layer. An interpretation is given for this effect.

  2. 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.

  3. Reliable screen-printed contacts on silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, J.; Baudry, H.; Diguet, D.; David, G.

    A screen-printing process for phi 100 mm silicon solar cells is examined. The adherence of silver to silicon is obtained with a glass binder designed to be steam boiling water (SBW) resistant, and the dissolution of the silicon surface by the glass is analyzed. It is found that when the firing temperature of the screen-printed conductors increases, the mechanical and SBW resistance increase; and since the junction depth has to be increased at the same time, the cell output power decreases. A 0.5 micron junction depth and a firing temperature of 680 C appear to be the best trade off, leading to omega 100 mm cells with screen-printed contacts exhibiting good electrical performances, a 300 g standard tensile strength, and over 500 hours SBW lifetime.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Interaction between cast silicon properties and solar cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hyland, S.; Iles, P.; Leung, D.; Schwuttke, G.; Engelbrecht, J. A. A.

    1982-01-01

    Three types of cast silicon, Silso, HEM (Heat-Exchanger Method) and UCP (Ubiquitous Crystallization Process) were studied for their use as solar cells. Optical microscopy after etching revealed a high density of uniform dislocations (approaching 1,000,000/sq cm), lines of dislocations indicating stress during crystal growth, and precipitates, some of which generate dislocations. Solar cells were fabricated by three processes. Results of solar cell processing revealed that these materials produce cells of lower efficiency than Czochralski control cells, and that the efficiencies of the three materials were quite close. Diffusion length and spectral response data are shown. Certain structural features are correlated with solar cell efficiency, diffusion length, and spectral response. Electron-beam induced current (EBIC) and light spot scanning are used to back up other measurements.

  7. Mechanical wafer engineering for semitransparent polycrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willeke, G.; Fath, P.

    1994-03-01

    A concept for the realization of semitransparent bifacially active highly efficient and light weight crystalline silicon solar cells is presented. The concept is based on the preparation of perpendicular V-grooves in silicon blanks by mechanical abrasion using a dicing saw and beveled blades. Holes of variable diameter are formed automatically in the processing step, which provide a connection between the passivated phosphorus doped front and back side emitters. A maximum bulk-emitter distance of ˜30 μm has been realized in 200 μm thick structures which should result in highly efficient solar cell devices even in small grain low quality polycrystalline material. The partial transparency of the presented solar cell structure opens the way for new applications (crystalline Si photovoltaic windows, etc.). The feasibility of the mechanical grooving process has been demonstrated on Wacker SILSO cast silicon. Double-side V-grooved structures (distance between grooves 90 and 140 μm, bevel angle 35°) with hole diameters in the range 10-70 μm, corresponding to a transmittance of up to 30% in the visible, have been prepared with excellent uniformity and mechanical stability over a large area (5×5 cm2). An average total reflectance in the range 500-1000 nm of Rav=0.9% has been measured on a structure with a geometrical hole fraction of 1.7% after growth of a 1170 Å thick layer of thermal oxide. This SILSO structure had an effective silicon thickness of 120 μm, whereas the absorptance spectrum near the band edge was similar to a 5.5 mm thick nongrooved silicon wafer, indicating the excellent light trapping obtained.

  8. 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%.

  9. 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.

  10. Silicon halide-alkali metal flames as a source of solar grade silicon. Final report

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-01-01

    The object of this program was to determine 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. Equilibrium calculations showed that a range of conditions were available where silicon was produced as a condensed phase but the byproduct alkali metal salt was a vapor. A process was proposed using the vapor phase reaction of Na with SiCl/sub 4/. Low pressure experiments were performed demonstrating that free silicon was produced 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. Relatively pure silicon was produced in these experiments. 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 compatibility 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Optimized metallization patterns for large-area silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matzen, W. T.; Chiang, S. Y.; Carbajal, B. G.

    1976-01-01

    Design criteria is presented for optimizing the front-surface metallization pattern of large-area silicon solar cells. A computer program calculates the spacing of metal fingers which minimizes resistive and shadowing losses. Finger spacing and efficiency for the optimum design are presented as a function of finger width and cell size. It is shown that quantitative evaluation of metallization pattern options can be made without cell fabrication.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Amorphous-silicon solar cells with screen-printed metallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baert, Kris A.; Roggen, J.; Nijs, Johan F.; Mertens, Robert P.

    1990-03-01

    The use of screen printing for the back-side metallization of amorphous-silicon solar cells on glass is proposed. Compared with the conventional aluminum evaporation process, screen printing is attractive because it offers high throughput and because direct patterning is performed during the printing process. The critical point in realizing a thick-film screen-printed contact on amorphous-silicon solar cells is found to be the contact resistivity between the contact and the n-layer. Contact resistivities below 1 ohm-sq cm have been obtained using a microcrystalline instead of an amorphous n+ layer and a screen-printed contact based on Mo, Ti, or Ni. Amorphous-silicon solar cells with a screen-printed back contact had a performance comparable with that of cells with an evaporated Al contact, resulting in a efficiency of 9.7 percent. Spectral response measurements demonstrated that the screen-printed contact is an efficient reflector of long-wavelength photons, resulting in a high red response due to internal light trapping.

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced reflector materials for solar concentrators

    SciTech Connect

    Jorgensen, G; Williams, T; Wendelin, T

    1994-10-01

    This paper describes the research and development program at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in advanced reflector materials for solar concentrators. NREL's research thrust is to develop solar reflector materials that maintain high specular reflectance for extended lifetimes under outdoor service conditions and whose cost is significantly lower than existing products. Much of this work has been in collaboration with private-sector companies that have extensive expertise in vacuum-coating and polymer-film technologies. Significant progress and other promising developments will be discussed. These are expected to lead to additional improvements needed to commercialize solar thermal concentration systems and make them economically attractive to the solar manufacturing industry. To explicitly demonstrate the optical durability of candidate reflector materials in real-world service conditions, a network of instrumented outdoor exposure sites has been activated.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. IR characterization of hydrogen in crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavola, M.; Kleekajai, S.; Wen, L.; Peng, C.; Yelundur, V.; Rohatgi, A.; Carnel, L.; Kalejs, J.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrogen is commonly introduced into silicon solar cells to reduce the deleterious effects of defects and to increase cell efficiency. A process that is widely used by industry to introduce hydrogen is by the post-deposition annealing of a hydrogen-rich SiN x layer that is used as an anti-reflection coating. A number of questions about this hydrogen introduction process and hydrogen's subsequent interactions with defects have proved difficult to address because of the low concentration of hydrogen that is introduced into the Si bulk. We have used the fundamental knowledge of hydrogenated defects that has been revealed by recent investigations of impurity-H complexes to develop strategies by which hydrogen in silicon can be detected by IR spectroscopy with high sensitivity. The introduction of hydrogen into Si by the post-deposition annealing of a SiN x coating has been investigated.

  5. 22.8 percent efficient silicon solar cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakers, Andrew W.; Wang, Aihua; Milne, Adele M.; Zhao, Jianhua; Green, Martin A.

    1989-09-01

    A new silicon solar cell structure, the passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC), is described. There are two major differences between the PERC and the cells reported earlier by Green et al. (1984, 1988). One is a structural difference, arising from the method of contacting the cell rear by a large number of contact holes through a passivating oxide layer. The second is the use of chlorine-based processing, to maintain high minority-carrier lifetimes during processing and to improve the quality of the passivating oxide enshrouding the cell. Devices with the PERC structure of 40sq-cm area, fabricated on 0.2 ohm cm p-type float zone substrates, demonstrated energy conversion efficiency of 22.8 percent, the highest efficiency ever reported for a silicon cell.

  6. 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.

  7. Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Construction: Progress Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimmele, Thomas R.; McMullin, J.; Keil, S.; Goode, P.; Knoelker, M.; Kuhn, J.; Rosner, R.; ATST Team

    2012-05-01

    The 4m Advance Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) on Haleakala will be the most powerful solar telescope and the world’s leading ground-based resource for studying solar magnetism that controls the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in the Sun’s output. The ATST will provide high resolution and high sensitivity observations of the dynamic solar magnetic fields throughout the solar atmosphere, including the corona at infrared wavelengths. With its 4 m aperture, ATST will resolve magnetic features at their intrinsic scales. A high order adaptive optics system delivers a corrected beam to the initial set of five state-of-the-art, facility class instrumentation located in the coude laboratory facility. Photopheric and chromospheric magnetometry is part of the key mission of four of these instruments. Coronal magnetometry and spectroscopy will be performed by two of these instruments at infrared wavelengths. The ATST project has transitioned from design and development to its construction phase. Site construction is expected to begin in April 2012. The project has awarded design and fabrication contracts for major telescope subsystems. A robust instrument program has been established and all instruments have passed preliminary design reviews or critical design reviews. A brief overview of the science goals and observational requirements of the ATST will be given, followed by a summary of the project status of the telescope and discussion of the approach to integrating instruments into the facility. The National Science Foundation (NSF) through the National Solar Observatory (NSO) funds the ATST Project. The NSO is operated under a cooperative agreement between the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) and NSF.

  8. Use of advanced solar cells for commercial communication satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1995-03-01

    The current generation of communications satellites are located primarily in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). Over the next decade, however, a new generation of communications satellites will be built and launched, designed to provide a world-wide interconnection of portable telephones. For this mission, the satellites must be positioned in lower polar and near-polar orbits. To provide complete coverage, large numbers of satellites will be required. Because the required number of satellites decreases as the orbital altitude is increased, fewer satellites would be required if the orbit chosen were raised from low to intermediate orbit. However, in intermediate orbits, satellites encounter significant radiation due to trapped electrons and protons. Radiation tolerant solar cells may be necessary to make such satellites feasible. We analyze the amount of radiation encountered in low and intermediate polar orbits at altitudes of interest to next-generation communication satellites, calculate the expected degradation for silicon, GaAs, and InP solar cells, and show that the lifetimes can be significantly increased by use of advanced solar cells.

  9. Use of advanced solar cells for commerical communication satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Bailey, Sheila G.

    1995-01-01

    The current generation of communications satellites are located primarily in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO). Over the next decade, however, a new generation of communications satellites will be built and launched, designed to provide a world-wide interconnection of portable telephones. For this mission, the satellites must be positioned in lower polar- and near-polar orbits. To provide complete coverage, large numbers of satellites will be required. Because of the required number of satellites decreases as the orbital altitude is increased, fewer satellites would be required if the orbit chosen were raised from Low to intermediate orbit. However, in intermediate orbits, satellites encounter significant radiation due to trapped electrons and protons. Radiation tolerant solar cells may be necessary to make such satellites feasible. We analyze the amount of radiation encountered in low and intermediate polar orbits at altitudes of interest to next-generation communication satellites, calculate the expected degradation for silicon, GaAs, and InP solar cells, and show that the lifetimes can be significantly increased by use of advanced solar cells.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. High-efficiency silicon concentrator solar cell research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greene, M. A.; Blakers, A. W.; Zhao, Jianhua; Wang, Ahua; Milne, A. M.; Ximing, Dai; Chong, C. M.

    1989-12-01

    This project continued the development of high efficiency silicon concentrator solar cells with the goal of achieving a 24% efficient module ready cell. This target was comfortably achieved with efficiencies as high as 25.2% at 125 suns concentration measured at Sandia National Laboratories. In outdoor testing at Sandia, cells of this type but of more modest performance resulted in lens/cell efficiency above 20% for the first time. Exciting results were obtained with a new cell structure, the PERC cell (passivated emitter and rear cell) which demonstrated an efficiency of 21.8% for a nonconcentrating cell and creditable performance out to 20 suns for concentrator cells. Progress was also reported for cells fabricated on n-type substrates and for plasma grooved, buried contact solar cells.

  16. Dry plasma processing for industrial crystalline silicon solar cell production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, M.; Rentsch, J.; Preu, R.

    2010-10-01

    This paper gives an overview on the standard crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturing processes typically applied in industry. Main focus has been put on plasma processes which can replace existing, mainly wet chemical processes within the standard process flow. Finally, additional plasma processes are presented which are suited for higher-efficient solar cells, i.e. for the “passivated emitter and rear cell” concept (PERC) or the “heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer” approach (HIT). Plasma processes for the deposition of thin dielectric or semiconducting layers for surface passivation, emitter deposition or anti-reflective coating purposes are presented. Plasma etching processes for the removal of phosphorus silicate glass or parasitic emitters, for wafer cleaning and masked and mask-free surface texturisation are discussed.

  17. High-efficiency silicon concentrator solar cell research

    SciTech Connect

    Green, M.A.; Blakers, A.W.; Jianhua, Zhao; Aihua, Wang; Milne, A.M.; Dai, Ximing; Chong, C.M. . Solar Photovoltaic Lab.)

    1989-12-01

    This project continued the development of high efficiency silicon concentrator solar cells with the goal of achieving a 24% efficient module ready'' cell. This target was comfortably achieved with efficiencies as high as 25.2% at 125 suns concentration measured at Sandia National Laboratories. In outdoor testing at Sandia, cells of this type but of more modest performance resulted in lens/cell efficiency above 20% for the first time. Exciting results were obtained with a new cell structure, the PERC cell (passivated emitter and rear cell) which demonstrated an efficiency of 21.8% for a nonconcentrating cell and creditable performance out to 20 suns for concentrator cells. Progress was also reported for cells fabricated on n-type substrates and for plasma grooved, buried contact solar cells. 22 refs., 23 figs., 9 tabs.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Recombination-active defects in silicon ribbon and polycrystalline solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, L. J.

    1984-01-01

    This paper reports results from a study of recombination-active structural defects in silicon ribbon and polycrystalline solar cells using the electron beam induced current (EBIC) technique in a scanning electron microscope. It is demonstrated that low temperature EBIC measurements can reveal a range of defects that are not observable at room temperature, including slip dislocations in silicon dendritic web ribbons as well as decorated twin boundaries and dislocation complexes in cast polycrystalline silicon solar cell materials.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Mission applications for advanced photovoltaic solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; West, John L.; Chave, Robert G.; Mcgee, David P.; Yen, Albert S.

    1990-01-01

    The suitability of the Advanced Photovoltaic Solar Array (APSA) for future space missions was examined by considering the impact on the spacecraft system in general. The lightweight flexible blanket array system was compared to rigid arrays and a radio-isotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) static power source for a wide range of assumed future earth orbiting and interplanetary mission applications. The study approach was to establish assessment criteria and a rating scheme, identify a reference mission set, perform the power system assessment for each mission, and develop conclusions and recommendations to guide future APSA technology development. The authors discuss the three selected power sources, the assessment criteria and rating definitions, and the reference missions. They present the assessment results in a convenient tabular format. It is concluded that the three power sources examined, APSA, conventional solar arrays, and RTGs, can be considered to complement each other. Each power technology has its own range of preferred applications.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-17

    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.

  1. Gettering and passivation of high efficiency multicrystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohatgi, A.; Narasimha, S.; Cai, L.

    1997-02-01

    A detailed study was conducted on aluminum and phosphorus gettering in HEM mc-Si and defect passivation by PECVD SiN in EFG mc-Si to achieve high efficiency solar cells on these promising photovoltaic materials. Solar cells with efficiencies as high as 18.6% (1 cm2 area) were achieved on multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) grown by the heat exchanger method (HEM) by a process which implements impurity gettering, an effective back surface field, front surface passivation, and forming gas annealing. This represents the highest reported solar cell efficiency on mc-Si to date. PCD analysis revealed that the bulk lifetime in certain HEM samples after phosphorus gettering can be as high as 135 μs. By incorporating a deeper aluminum back surface field (Al-BSF), the back surface recombination velocity (Sb) for 0.65 Ω-cm HEM mc-Si solar cells was lowered from 10,000 cm/s to 2,000 cm/s resulting in the 18.6% efficient device. It was also observed that a screen-printed/RTP alloyed Al-BSF process could raise the efficiency of both float zone and relatively defect-free mc-Si solar cells by lowering Sb. However, this process was found to increase the electrical activity of extended defects so that mc-Si devices with a significant defect density showed an overall degradation in performance. In the case of EFG mc-Si, neural network modeling in conjunction with a study of post deposition annealing was used to provide guidelines for effective defect passivation by PECVD SiN films. Appropriate deposition and annealing conditions resulted in a 45% increase in cell efficiency due to AR coating and another 25-30% increase due to defect passivation by atomic hydrogen.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Progress in amorphous silicon solar cells produced by reactive sputtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moustakas, T. D.

    The photovoltaic properties of reactively sputtered amorphous silicon are reviewed and it is shown that efficient PIN solar cells can be fabricated by the method of sputtering. The photovoltaic properties of the intrinsic films correlate with their structural and compositional inhomogeneities. Hydrogen incorporation and small levels of phosphorus and boron impurities also affect the photovoltaic properties through reduction of residual dangling bond related defects and modification of their occupation. The optical and transport properties of the doped P and N-films were found to depend sensitively on the amount of hydrogen and boron or phosphorus incorporation into the films as well as on their degree of crystallinity. Combination of the best intrinsic and doped films leads to PIN solar cell structures generating J(sc) of 13 mA/sq cm and V(oc) of between 0.85 to 0.95 volts. The efficiency of these devices, 5 to 6 percent, is limited by the low FF, typically about 50 percent. As a further test to the potential of this technology efficient tandem solar cell structures were fabricated, and device design concepts, such as the incorporation of optically reflective back contacts were tested.

  7. 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.

  8. Optical absorption enhancement in 3D silicon oxide nano-sandwich type solar cell.

    PubMed

    Kiani, Amirkianoosh; Venkatakrishnan, Krishnan; Tan, Bo

    2014-01-13

    Recent research in the field of photovoltaic and solar cell fabrication has shown the potential to significantly enhance light absorption in thin-film solar cells by using surface texturing and nanostructure coating techniques. In this paper, for the first time, we propose a new method for nano sandwich type thin-film solar cell fabrication by combining the laser amorphization (2nd solar cell generation) and laser nanofibers generation (3rd solar cell generation) techniques. In this novel technique, the crystalline silicon is irradiated by megahertz frequency femtosecond laser pulses under ambient conditions and the multi-layer of amorphorized silicon and nano fibrous layer are generated in the single-step on top of the silicon substrate. Light spectroscopy results show significant enhancement of light absorption in the generated multi layers solar cells (Silicon Oxide nanofibers / thin-film amorphorized silicon). This method is single step and no additional materials are added and both layers of the amorphorized thin-film silicon and three-dimensional (3D) silicon oxide nanofibrous structures are grown on top of the silicon substrate after laser irradiation. Finally, we suggest how to maximize the light trapping and optical absorption of the generated nanofibers/thin-film cells by optimizing the laser pulse duration. PMID:24921988

  9. 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.

  10. Nanostructured Indium Oxide Coated Silicon Nanowire Arrays: A Hybrid Photothermal/Photochemical Approach to Solar Fuels.

    PubMed

    Hoch, Laura B; O'Brien, Paul G; Jelle, Abdinoor; Sandhel, Amit; Perovic, Douglas D; Mims, Charles A; Ozin, Geoffrey A

    2016-09-27

    The field of solar fuels seeks to harness abundant solar energy by driving useful molecular transformations. Of particular interest is the photodriven conversion of greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon-based fuels and chemical feedstocks, with the ultimate goal of providing a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Nonstoichiometric, hydroxylated indium oxide nanoparticles, denoted In2O3-x(OH)y, have been shown to function as active photocatalysts for CO2 reduction to CO via the reverse water gas shift reaction under simulated solar irradiation. However, the relatively wide band gap (2.9 eV) of indium oxide restricts the portion of the solar irradiance that can be utilized to ∼9%, and the elevated reaction temperatures required (150-190 °C) reduce the overall energy efficiency of the process. Herein we report a hybrid catalyst consisting of a vertically aligned silicon nanowire (SiNW) support evenly coated by In2O3-x(OH)y nanoparticles that utilizes the vast majority of the solar irradiance to simultaneously produce both the photogenerated charge carriers and heat required to reduce CO2 to CO at a rate of 22.0 μmol·gcat(-1)·h(-1). Further, improved light harvesting efficiency of the In2O3-x(OH)y/SiNW films due to minimized reflection losses and enhanced light trapping within the SiNW support results in a ∼6-fold increase in photocatalytic conversion rates over identical In2O3-x(OH)y films prepared on roughened glass substrates. The ability of this In2O3-x(OH)y/SiNW hybrid catalyst to perform the dual function of utilizing both light and heat energy provided by the broad-band solar irradiance to drive CO2 reduction reactions represents a general advance that is applicable to a wide range of catalysts in the field of solar fuels. PMID:27598429

  11. Nanostructured Indium Oxide Coated Silicon Nanowire Arrays: A Hybrid Photothermal/Photochemical Approach to Solar Fuels.

    PubMed

    Hoch, Laura B; O'Brien, Paul G; Jelle, Abdinoor; Sandhel, Amit; Perovic, Douglas D; Mims, Charles A; Ozin, Geoffrey A

    2016-09-27

    The field of solar fuels seeks to harness abundant solar energy by driving useful molecular transformations. Of particular interest is the photodriven conversion of greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon-based fuels and chemical feedstocks, with the ultimate goal of providing a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Nonstoichiometric, hydroxylated indium oxide nanoparticles, denoted In2O3-x(OH)y, have been shown to function as active photocatalysts for CO2 reduction to CO via the reverse water gas shift reaction under simulated solar irradiation. However, the relatively wide band gap (2.9 eV) of indium oxide restricts the portion of the solar irradiance that can be utilized to ∼9%, and the elevated reaction temperatures required (150-190 °C) reduce the overall energy efficiency of the process. Herein we report a hybrid catalyst consisting of a vertically aligned silicon nanowire (SiNW) support evenly coated by In2O3-x(OH)y nanoparticles that utilizes the vast majority of the solar irradiance to simultaneously produce both the photogenerated charge carriers and heat required to reduce CO2 to CO at a rate of 22.0 μmol·gcat(-1)·h(-1). Further, improved light harvesting efficiency of the In2O3-x(OH)y/SiNW films due to minimized reflection losses and enhanced light trapping within the SiNW support results in a ∼6-fold increase in photocatalytic conversion rates over identical In2O3-x(OH)y films prepared on roughened glass substrates. The ability of this In2O3-x(OH)y/SiNW hybrid catalyst to perform the dual function of utilizing both light and heat energy provided by the broad-band solar irradiance to drive CO2 reduction reactions represents a general advance that is applicable to a wide range of catalysts in the field of solar fuels.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. Screen-Printable Silver Pastes with Nanosized Glass Frits for Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Yu-Chou; Lin, Yeong-Her; You, Jiun-Pyng; Shi, Frank G.

    2013-03-01

    In this study, silver pastes containing different sizes of glass frits were employed to form the front-side electrodes in order to examine the size effect of the glass frits on the interfacial microstructures between the front-side silver contacts and the n-type silicon emitter layers, which will subsequently affect the electrical performance of silicon solar cells. The interfacial microstructures at the Ag/Si interfaces were investigated by advanced electron microscopy techniques. The transfer length method (TLM) was used to measure the specific contact resistivity of silver electrodes screen-printed on the n-type silicon substrates. The particle size of the glass frits was found to strongly affect the interfacial microstructures and therefore resulted in different specific contact resistivities ( ρ c) of the fabricated silver ohmic contacts. Nanosized glass frits showed excellent etching ability during engineered thermal treatments. The samples made with silver pastes containing microsized glass frits showed a thick residual glass layer at the Ag/Si interface, while the silver paste with nanosized glass frits was found to form an interface with less glass residue, which led to lower resistance after otherwise identical processing.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Enhancement of laser-induced rear surface spallation by pyramid textured structures on silicon wafer solar cells.

    PubMed

    Du, Z R; Palina, N; Chen, J; Aberle, A G; Hoex, B; Hong, M H

    2012-11-01

    Pulsed laser ablation is increasingly being applied to locally open the rear dielectric layer of advanced silicon wafer solar cell structures, such as aluminum local back surface field solar cells. We report that the laser ablation process on the rear surface of the solar cell at a relatively low laser fluence can cause undesirable spallation at the front surface which is textured with random upright pyramids. This phenomenon is attributed to the enhancement of the surface spallation effect by up to 3 times due to the confinement of the pressure waves at the tips of these random pyramids. Laser ablation at different laser focus positions and laser fluences is carried out to achieve optimized laser processing of the solar cells.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Inverted Silicon Nanopencil Array Solar Cells with Enhanced Contact Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Xiaoguang; Shu, Lei; Lin, Hao; Fang, Ming; Zhang, Heng; Dong, Guofa; Yip, Senpo; Xiu, Fei; Ho, Johnny C.

    2016-09-01

    Although three-dimensional nanostructured solar cells have attracted extensive research attention due to their superior broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting properties, majority of them are still suffered from complicated fabrication processes as well as disappointed photovoltaic performances. Here, we employed our newly-developed, low-cost and simple wet anisotropic etching to fabricate hierarchical silicon nanostructured arrays with different solar cell contact design, followed by systematic investigations of their photovoltaic characteristics. Specifically, nano-arrays with the tapered tips (e.g. inverted nanopencils) are found to enable the more conformal top electrode deposition directly onto the nanostructures for better series and shunt conductance, but its insufficient film coverage at the basal plane would still restrict the charge carrier collection. In contrast, the low-platform contact design facilitates a substantial photovoltaic device performance enhancement of ~24%, as compared to the one of conventional top electrode design, due to the shortened current path and improved lateral conductance for the minimized carrier recombination and series resistance. This enhanced contact structure can not only maintain excellent photon-trapping behaviors of nanostructures, but also help to eliminate adverse impacts of these tapered nano-morphological features on the contact resistance, providing further insight into design consideration in optimizing the contact geometry for high-performance nanostructured photovoltaic devices.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Inverted Silicon Nanopencil Array Solar Cells with Enhanced Contact Structures

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xiaoguang; Shu, Lei; Lin, Hao; Fang, Ming; Zhang, Heng; Dong, Guofa; Yip, SenPo; Xiu, Fei; Ho, Johnny C.

    2016-01-01

    Although three-dimensional nanostructured solar cells have attracted extensive research attention due to their superior broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting properties, majority of them are still suffered from complicated fabrication processes as well as disappointed photovoltaic performances. Here, we employed our newly-developed, low-cost and simple wet anisotropic etching to fabricate hierarchical silicon nanostructured arrays with different solar cell contact design, followed by systematic investigations of their photovoltaic characteristics. Specifically, nano-arrays with the tapered tips (e.g. inverted nanopencils) are found to enable the more conformal top electrode deposition directly onto the nanostructures for better series and shunt conductance, but its insufficient film coverage at the basal plane would still restrict the charge carrier collection. In contrast, the low-platform contact design facilitates a substantial photovoltaic device performance enhancement of ~24%, as compared to the one of conventional top electrode design, due to the shortened current path and improved lateral conductance for the minimized carrier recombination and series resistance. This enhanced contact structure can not only maintain excellent photon-trapping behaviors of nanostructures, but also help to eliminate adverse impacts of these tapered nano-morphological features on the contact resistance, providing further insight into design consideration in optimizing the contact geometry for high-performance nanostructured photovoltaic devices. PMID:27671709

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Reactive ion etching (RIE) technique for application in crystalline silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Yoo, Jinsu

    2010-04-15

    Saw damage removal (SDR) and texturing by conventional wet chemical processes with alkali solution etch about 20 micron of silicon wafer on both sides, resulting in thin wafers with which solar cell processing is difficult. Reactive ion etching (RIE) for silicon surface texturing is very effective in reducing surface reflectance of thin crystalline silicon wafers by trapping the light of longer wavelength. High efficiency solar cells were fabricated during this study using optimized RIE. Saw damage removal (SDR) with acidic mixture followed by RIE-texturing showed the decrease in silicon loss by {proportional_to}67% and {proportional_to}70% compared to conventional SDR and texturing by alkaline solution. Also, the crystalline silicon solar cells fabricated by using RIE-texturing showed conversion efficiency as high as 16.7% and 16.1% compared with 16.2%, which was obtained in the case of the cell fabricated with SDR and texturing with NaOH solution. (author)

  16. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Atomic-Layer-Deposited Transparent Electrodes for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

    DOE PAGES

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Hanes, M. H.; Davis, J. R.; Rohatgi, A.; Raichoudhury, P.; Mollenkopf, H. C.

    1981-01-01

    The results of the study 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. Cr is highly mobile in silicon even at temperatures as low as 600 C. Contrasting with earlier data for Mo, Ti, and V, Cr concentrations vary from place to place in polycrystalline silicon wafers and the electrically-active Cr concentration in the polysilicon is more than an order of magnitude smaller than would be projected from single crystal impurity data. We hypothesize that Cr diffuses during ingot cooldown after growth, preferentially segregates to grain and becomes electrically deactivated. Accelerated aging data from Ni-contaminated silicon imply that no significant impurity-induced cell performance reduction should be expected over a twenty year device lifetime.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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..

  15. 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

  16. High efficiency back-contact back-junction thin-film monocrystalline silicon solar cells from the porous silicon process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haase, F.; Kajari-Schröder, S.; Brendel, R.

    2013-11-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of a 45 μm thick back-contact back-junction thin-film monocrystalline silicon solar cell from the porous silicon process with an energy conversion efficiency of 18.9%. We demonstrate an efficiency improvement of 5.4% absolute compared to our prior record of 13.5% for back-contact back-junction thin-film monocrystalline silicon solar cells. This increase in efficiency is achieved by reducing the recombination at the base contact using a back surface field and by increasing the generation with a front texture. We investigate the loss mechanisms in the cell using finite element simulations. A free energy loss analysis based on experiments and simulations determines the dominating loss mechanisms. The efficiency loss by base recombination is 0.8% absolute and the loss by base contact recombination is 0.5% absolute in the 18.9% efficiency cell.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Progress with polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on glass at UNSW

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberle, Armin G.

    2006-01-01

    Polycrystalline Si (pc-Si) thin-film solar cells on glass have long been considered a very promising approach for lowering the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity. In recent years there have been dramatic advances with this PV technology, and the first commercial modules (CSG Solar) are expected to hit the marketplace in 2006. The CSG modules are based on solid-phase crystallisation of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) -deposited amorphous Si. Independent research in the author's group at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) during recent years has led to the development of three alternative pc-Si thin-film solar cells on glass—EVA, ALICIA and ALICE. Cell thickness is generally about 2 μm. The first two cells are made by vacuum evaporation, whereas ALICE cells can be made by either vacuum evaporation or PECVD. Evaporation has the advantage of being a fast and inexpensive Si deposition method. A crucial component of ALICIA and ALICE cells is a seed layer made on glass by metal-induced crystallisation of amorphous silicon (a-Si). The absorber layer of these cells is made by either ion-assisted Si epitaxy (ALICIA) or solid-phase epitaxy of a-Si (ALICE). This paper reports on the status of these three new thin-film PV technologies. All three solar cells seem to be capable of voltages of over 500 mV and, owing to their potentially inexpensive and scalable fabrication process, have significant industrial appeal.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Characterization of 23-percent efficient silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Martin A.; Blakers, Andrew W.; Zhao, Jianhua; Milne, Adele M.; Wang, Aihua

    1990-02-01

    A silicon solar cell structure, PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell), has very recently demonstrated energy conversion efficiency above 23 percent. A number of interesting features of the PERC cell design are discussed. Rear contact design is based on a balance between the beneficial effects of small sparsely spaced contact points upon the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current of the cell and the corresponding negative effects upon cell fill factor. The noncontacted regions of the rear surface are held in weak depletion by an optically isolated but electrically connected rear Al reflector. Once bulk injection levels become appreciable, the disadvantage of this surface condition disappears. The structure incorporates a reasonably effective light-trapping scheme, although there remains scope for improvements in this area. Along with other improvements, efficiency approaching 24 percent seems feasible with the present cell structure. If a processing regime can be found which allows boron passivation of the contact holes or the entire rear surface without loss of the present exceptionally high bulk lifetimes, efficiencies above 24 percent are likely.

  7. Silicon heterojunction solar cell with passivated hole selective MoOx contact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battaglia, Corsin; de Nicolás, Silvia Martín; De Wolf, Stefaan; Yin, Xingtian; Zheng, Maxwell; Ballif, Christophe; Javey, Ali

    2014-03-01

    We explore substoichiometric molybdenum trioxide (MoOx, x < 3) as a dopant-free, hole-selective contact for silicon solar cells. Using an intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon passivation layer between the oxide and the silicon absorber, we demonstrate a high open-circuit voltage of 711 mV and power conversion efficiency of 18.8%. Due to the wide band gap of MoOx, we observe a substantial gain in photocurrent of 1.9 mA/cm2 in the ultraviolet and visible part of the solar spectrum, when compared to a p-type amorphous silicon emitter of a traditional silicon heterojunction cell. Our results emphasize the strong potential for oxides as carrier selective heterojunction partners to inorganic semiconductors.

  8. Silicon heterojunction solar cell with passivated hole selective MoO{sub x} contact

    SciTech Connect

    Battaglia, Corsin; Yin, Xingtian; Zheng, Maxwell; Javey, Ali; Martín de Nicolás, Silvia; De Wolf, Stefaan; Ballif, Christophe

    2014-03-17

    We explore substoichiometric molybdenum trioxide (MoO{sub x}, x < 3) as a dopant-free, hole-selective contact for silicon solar cells. Using an intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon passivation layer between the oxide and the silicon absorber, we demonstrate a high open-circuit voltage of 711 mV and power conversion efficiency of 18.8%. Due to the wide band gap of MoO{sub x}, we observe a substantial gain in photocurrent of 1.9 mA/cm{sup 2} in the ultraviolet and visible part of the solar spectrum, when compared to a p-type amorphous silicon emitter of a traditional silicon heterojunction cell. Our results emphasize the strong potential for oxides as carrier selective heterojunction partners to inorganic semiconductors.

  9. Light-trapping design for thin-film silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Stephen; John, Sajeev

    2016-09-01

    Using finite-difference time-domain simulations, we investigate the optical properties of tandem silicon/perovskite solar cells with a photonic crystal architecture, consisting of a square-lattice array of inverted pyramids with a center-to-center spacing of 2.5 μm. We demonstrate that near-perfect light-trapping and absorption can be achieved over the 300-1100 nm wavelength range with this architecture, using less than 10 μm (equivalent bulk thickness) of crystalline silicon. Using a one-diode model, we obtain projected efficiencies of over 30% for the two-terminal tandem cell under a current-matching condition, well beyond the current record for single-junction silicon solar cells. The architecture is amenable to mass fabrication through wet-etching and uses a fraction of the silicon of traditional designs, making it an attractive alternative to other silicon-perovskite tandem designs.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Surface recombination velocity of phosphorus-diffused silicon solar cell emitters passivated with plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited silicon nitride and thermal silicon oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, M. J.; Schmidt, J.; Cuevas, A.; Bultman, J. H.

    2001-04-01

    The emitter saturation current density (JOe) and surface recombination velocity (Sp) of various high quality passivation schemes on phosphorus-diffused solar cell emitters have been determined and compared. The passivation schemes investigated were (i) stoichiometric plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited (PECVD) silicon nitride (SiN), (ii) forming gas annealed thermally grown silicon oxide, and (iii) aluminum annealed (alnealed) thermal silicon oxide. Emitters with sheet resistances ranging from 30 to 430 and 50 to 380 Ω/□ were investigated for planar and random-pyramid textured silicon surfaces, which covers both industrial and laboratory emitters. The electronic surface passivation quality provided by PECVD SiN films was found to be good, with Sp values ranging from 1400 to 25 000 cm/s for planar emitters. Thin thermal silicon oxides were found to provide superior passivation to PECVD SiN, with the best passivation provided by an alnealed thin oxide (Sp values between 250 and 21 000 cm/s). The optimized PECVD SiN films are, nevertheless, sufficiently good for most silicon solar cell applications.

  13. 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.

  14. Review of physics underlying recent improvements in silicon solar-cell performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Fossum, J. G.

    1980-01-01

    This paper provides a unifying view of the physics of silicon solar cells, and uses it as a basis for explaining how recent improvements in the performance of these cells have been achieved. The unification is facilitated by a region-by-region analysis of the solar cell, which is also used to compare several recently proposed cell structures.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Silicon material development for terrestrial solar cells. Phase of exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirtl, E.

    1983-03-01

    A material project based on a multicrystalline silicon is reported. It consists of refining the metallurgical grade silicon via hydro and pyrometallurgical processes, preparation of square shaped ingots by (inert) gas protected or open hearth casting methods, and high speed slicing, using a multiple blade slurry saw. Second generation pilot equipment was constructed. Aluminothermic reduction of quartz sand into silicon and the foil casting process were tested. It is concluded that the production of silicon thru the gaseous phase depends upon the marketing of very cheap basic material (SG-Si 10 dollar/Kg) and that the purification of metallurgical grade silicon by refining is the most promising method.

  18. Light-induced changes in silicon nanocrystal based solar cells: Modification of silicon-hydrogen bonding on silicon nanocrystal surface under illumination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Ka-Hyun; Johnson, Erik V.; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca i.

    2016-07-01

    Hydrogenated polymorphous silicon (pm-Si:H) is a material consisting of a small volume fraction of nanocrystals embedded in an amorphous matrix. pm-Si:H solar cells demonstrate interesting initial degradation behaviors such as rapid initial change in photovoltaic parameters and self-healing after degradation during light-soaking. The precise dynamics of the light-induced degradation was studied in a series of light-soaking experiments under various illumination conditions such as AM1.5G and filtered 570 nm yellow light. Hydrogen effusion experiment before and after light-soaking further revealed that the initial degradation of pm-Si:H solar cells originate from the modification of silicon-hydrogen bonding on the surface of silicon nanocrystals in pm-Si:H.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Multi-resonant absorption in ultra-thin silicon solar cells with metallic nanowires.

    PubMed

    Massiot, Inès; Colin, Clément; Sauvan, Christophe; Lalanne, Philippe; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca I; Pelouard, Jean-Luc; Collin, Stéphane

    2013-05-01

    We propose a design to confine light absorption in flat and ultra-thin amorphous silicon solar cells with a one-dimensional silver grating embedded in the front window of the cell. We show numerically that multi-resonant light trapping is achieved in both TE and TM polarizations. Each resonance is analyzed in detail and modeled by Fabry-Perot resonances or guided modes via grating coupling. This approach is generalized to a complete amorphous silicon solar cell, with the additional degrees of freedom provided by the buffer layers. These results could guide the design of resonant structures for optimized ultra-thin solar cells. PMID:24104424

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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°.

  11. Light trapping by backside diffraction gratings in silicon solar cells revisited.

    PubMed

    Wellenzohn, Markus; Hainberger, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    This numerical study investigates the influence of rectangular backside diffraction gratings on the efficiency of silicon solar cells. Backside gratings are used to diffract incident light to large propagation angles beyond the angle of total internal reflection, which can significantly increase the interaction length of long wavelength photons inside the silicon layer and thus enhance the efficiency. We investigate the influence of the silicon thickness on the optimum grating period and modulation depth by a simulation method which combines a 2D ray tracing algorithm with rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA) for calculating the grating diffraction efficiencies. The optimization was performed for gratings with period lengths ranging from 0.25 µm to 1.5 µm and modulation depths ranging from 25 nm to 400 nm under the assumption of normal light incidence. This study shows that the achievable efficiency improvement of silicon solar cells by means of backside diffraction gratings strongly depends on the proper choice of the grating parameters for a given silicon thickness. The relationship between the optimized grating parameters resulting in maximum photocurrent densities and the silicon thickness is determined. Moreover, the thicknesses of silicon solar cells with and without optimized backside diffraction gratings providing the same photocurrent densities are compared.

  12. 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.

  13. Empirical study of the interaction of silicon substrate thinness, device design, and solar cell processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pryor, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    Processing experiments using wire-saw techniques to slice thin silicon wafers are described. Substrates were sliced directly to 17 mil, 8 mil, and 5 mil thicknesses. Some of the 8 mil substrates and all of the 5 mil substrates were chemically etched to 7 and 4 mils, respectively, to guarantee removal of any saw damage. The wafers wire sawed to 17 mil thicknesses were processed as reference cells. A baseline process which results in an n(+)-p cell structure, and two advanced processes which provide n(+)-p-p(+) structures were utilized. By using a p(+) enhancement layer on the solar cell back surface, the performance of the 7 mil wafers was increased to exceed that of the 17 mil solar cells with simple n(+)-p structures. Cells fabricated by an ion implantation sequence utilizing elemental boron and phosphorus implants were shown to be capable of equalling or exceeding the performance of cells fabricated by an equivalent all-diffusion process.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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%).

  20. 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.

  1. Silicon-Light: a European project aiming at high efficiency thin film silicon solar cells on foil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soppe, W.; Krc, J.; Leitner, K.; Haug, F.-J.; Duchamp, M.; Sanchez Plaza, G.; Wang, Q.-K.

    2014-07-01

    In the European project Silicon-Light we developed concepts and technologies to increase conversion efficiencies of thin film silicon solar cells on foil. Main focus was put on improved light management, using NIL for creating light scattering textures, improved TCOs using sputtering, and improved silicon absorber material made by PECVD. On foil we achieved initial cell efficiencies of 11% and on rigid substrates stable efficiencies of 11.6% were achieved. Finally, the project demonstrated the industrial scale feasibility of the developed technologies and materials. Cost of ownership calculations showed that implementation of these technologies on large scale would enable the production of these high efficiency solar modules at manufacturing cost of 0.65 €/Wp with encapsulation costs (0.20 €/Wp) being the dominant costs. Life cycle analysis showed that large scale production of modules based on the technologies developed in Silicon-Light would have an energy payback time of 0.85 years in Central European countries.

  2. National solar technology roadmap: Wafer-silicon PV

    SciTech Connect

    Sopori, Bhushan

    2007-06-01

    This report applies to all bulk-silicon-based PV technologies, including those based on Czochralski, multicrystalline, float-zone wafers, and melt-grown crystals that are 100 μm or thicker, such as ribbons, sheet, or spheral silicon.

  3. Pyramidal surface textures for light trapping and antireflection in perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Bennett W; Lal, Niraj N; Baker-Finch, Simeon; White, Thomas P

    2014-10-20

    Perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells show potential to reach > 30% conversion efficiency, but require careful optical control. We introduce here an effective light-management scheme based on the established pyramidal texturing of crystalline silicon cells. Calculations show that conformal deposition of a thin film perovskite solar cell directly onto the textured front surface of a high efficiency silicon cell can yield front surface reflection losses as low as 0.52mA/cm(2). Combining this with a wavelength-selective intermediate reflector between the cells additionally provides effective light-trapping in the high-bandgap top cell, resulting in calculated absolute efficiency gains of 2 - 4%. This approach provides a practical and effective method to adapt existing high efficiency silicon cell designs for use in tandem cells, with conversion efficiencies approaching 35%.

  4. 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.

    1979-01-01

    The paper reports on an investigation of the microstructure and minority carrier lifetime of silicon in uniaxially compressed silicon samples, the objective of which was to determine if it is feasible to produce silicon solar cells from sheet formed by high temperature deformation. It is reported that recrystallization was found to be incomplete in both fine and large grained materials, and that the major mode of recrystallization appears to be migration of existing boundaries into the deformed regions. Also, minority carrier diffusion length was found to be drastically reduced after deformation, perhaps due to contamination or cooling rate, and recovered only slightly with annealing. It is concluded that these results suggest that high temperature deformation of silicon for direct production of sheet for high efficiency solar cells is not practical. It is noted that potential may exist for its use as a coarse grained substrate.

  5. Silicon-solar-cell process development, fabrication, and analysis. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Minahan, J.A.

    1981-03-09

    Solar cells have been fabricated from unconventional silicon materials in the second and final phase of the contract. In the most recent period of work, EFG, Web, Hem, and Continuous CZ silicon materials were fabricated into solar cells, measured and analyzed. Current-voltage measurements under AM1 conditions, in addition to those under AMO conditions, were introduced in Phase II. Several low-cost fabrication steps were included in that phase. Both Hem and Continuous CZ silicon were found to be superior to what had been provided in Phase I. Correlation between quality of starting materials and cell conversion efficiency was observed for Hem-grown silicon. Correlation between position in the crystal growth sequence and cell quality was observed for Continuous CZ.

  6. Status of Reconstruction of Fragmented Diamond-on-Silicon Collector From Genesis Spacecraft Solar Wind Concentrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodriquez, Melissa C.; Calaway, M. C.; McNamara, K. M.; Hittle, J. D.

    2009-01-01

    In addition to passive solar wind collector surfaces, the Genesis Discovery Mission science canister had on board an electrostatic concave mirror for concentrating the solar wind ions, known as the concentrator . The 30-mm-radius collector focal point (the target) was comprised of 4 quadrants: two of single crystal SiC, one of polycrystalline 13C diamond and one of diamond-like-carbon (DLC) on a silicon substrate. [DLC-on-silicon is also sometimes referenced as Diamond-on-silicon, DOS.] Three of target quadrants survived the hard landing intact, but the DLC-on-silicon quadrant fractured into numerous pieces (Fig. 1). This abstract reports the status of identifying the DLC target fragments and reconstructing their original orientation.

  7. Advanced research in solar-energy storage

    SciTech Connect

    Luft, W.

    1983-01-01

    The Solar Energy Storage Program at the Solar Energy Research Institute is reviewed. The program provides research, systems analyses, and economic assessments of thermal and thermochemical energy storage and transport. Current activities include experimental research into very high temperature (above 800/sup 0/C) thermal energy storage and assessment of novel thermochemical energy storage and transport systems. The applications for such high-temperature storage are thermochemical processes, solar thermal-electric power generation, cogeneration of heat and electricity, industrial process heat, and thermally regenerative electrochemical systems. The research results for five high-temperature thermal energy storage technologies and two thermochemical systems are described.

  8. 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.

  9. Proceedings of the Flat-plate Solar Array Project Research Forum on High-efficiency Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kachare, R.

    1985-01-01

    The high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells research forum addressed high-efficiency concepts, surface-interface effects, bulk effects, modeling and device processing. The topics were arranged into six interactive sessions, which focused on the state-of-the-art of device structures, identification of barriers to achieve high-efficiency cells and potential ways to overcome these barriers.

  10. Processing experiments for development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, J.M.; Basore, P.A.; King, D.L.; McBrayer, J.D.; Ruby, D.S.; Buck, M.E.; Tingley, J.W.

    1990-01-01

    Fabrication of high-efficiency silicon solar cells requires processing technology capable of maintaining long bulk carrier lifetime and low surface recombination. Development of long-lifetime processing techniques using experimental designs based on statistical methods is described. The first three experiments investigated pre-oxidation cleans, phosphorus gettering, and a comparison of different phosphorus diffusion sources. Optimal processing parameters were found to depend on type of silicon material. 2 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Development of processes for the production of solar grade silicon from halides and alkali metals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickson, C. R.; Gould, R. K.

    1980-01-01

    High temperature reactions of silicon halides with alkali metals for the production of solar grade silicon in volume at low cost were studied. Experiments were performed to evaluate product separation and collection processes, measure heat release parameters for scaling purposes, determine the effects of reactants and/or products on materials of reactor construction, and make preliminary engineering and economic analyses of a scaled-up process.

  12. Ab initio design of nanostructures for solar energy conversion: a case study on silicon nitride nanowire

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Design of novel materials for efficient solar energy conversion is critical to the development of green energy technology. In this work, we present a first-principles study on the design of nanostructures for solar energy harvesting on the basis of the density functional theory. We show that the indirect band structure of bulk silicon nitride is transferred to direct bandgap in nanowire. We find that intermediate bands can be created by doping, leading to enhancement of sunlight absorption. We further show that codoping not only reduces the bandgap and introduces intermediate bands but also enhances the solubility of dopants in silicon nitride nanowires due to reduced formation energy of substitution. Importantly, the codoped nanowire is ferromagnetic, leading to the improvement of carrier mobility. The silicon nitride nanowires with direct bandgap, intermediate bands, and ferromagnetism may be applicable to solar energy harvesting. PMID:25294975

  13. Ab initio design of nanostructures for solar energy conversion: a case study on silicon nitride nanowire.

    PubMed

    Pan, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Design of novel materials for efficient solar energy conversion is critical to the development of green energy technology. In this work, we present a first-principles study on the design of nanostructures for solar energy harvesting on the basis of the density functional theory. We show that the indirect band structure of bulk silicon nitride is transferred to direct bandgap in nanowire. We find that intermediate bands can be created by doping, leading to enhancement of sunlight absorption. We further show that codoping not only reduces the bandgap and introduces intermediate bands but also enhances the solubility of dopants in silicon nitride nanowires due to reduced formation energy of substitution. Importantly, the codoped nanowire is ferromagnetic, leading to the improvement of carrier mobility. The silicon nitride nanowires with direct bandgap, intermediate bands, and ferromagnetism may be applicable to solar energy harvesting.

  14. Optoelectronic properties of Black-Silicon generated through inductively coupled plasma (ICP) processing for crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsch, Jens; Gaudig, Maria; Bernhard, Norbert; Lausch, Dominik

    2016-06-01

    The optoelectronic properties of maskless inductively coupled plasma (ICP) generated black silicon through SF6 and O2 are analyzed by using reflection measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quasi steady state photoconductivity (QSSPC). The results are discussed and compared to capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) and industrial standard wet chemical textures. The ICP process forms parabolic like surface structures in a scale of 500 nm. This surface structure reduces the average hemispherical reflection between 300 and 1120 nm up to 8%. Additionally, the ICP texture shows a weak increase of the hemispherical reflection under tilted angles of incidence up to 60°. Furthermore, we report that the ICP process is independent of the crystal orientation and the surface roughness. This allows the texturing of monocrystalline, multicrystalline and kerf-less wafers using the same parameter set. The ICP generation of black silicon does not apply a self-bias on the silicon sample. Therefore, the silicon sample is exposed to a reduced ion bombardment, which reduces the plasma induced surface damage. This leads to an enhancement of the effective charge carrier lifetime up to 2.5 ms at 1015 cm-3 minority carrier density (MCD) after an atomic layer deposition (ALD) with Al2O3. Since excellent etch results were obtained already after 4 min process time, we conclude that the ICP generation of black silicon is a promising technique to substitute the industrial state of the art wet chemical textures in the solar cell mass production.

  15. 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).

  16. The importance of Soret transport in the production of high purity silicon for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, R.

    1985-01-01

    Temperature-gradient-driven diffusion, or Soret transport, of silicon vapor and liquid droplets is analyzed under conditions typical of current production reactors for obtaining high purity silicon for solar cells. Contrary to the common belief that Soret transport is negligible, it is concluded that some 15-20 percent of the silicon vapor mass flux to the reactor walls is caused by the high temperature gradients that prevail inside such reactors. Moreover, since collection of silicon is also achieved via deposition of silicon droplets onto the walls, the Soret transport mechanism becomes even more crucial due to size differences between diffusing species. It is shown that for droplets in the 0.01 to 1 micron diameter range, collection by Soret transport dominates both Brownian and turbulent mechanisms.

  17. LSA Large Area Silicon Sheet Task. Continuous Liquid Feed Czochralski Growth. [for solar cell fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fiegl, G.

    1979-01-01

    The design and development of equipment and processes to demonstrate continuous growth of crystals by the Czochralski method suitable for producing single silicon crystals for use in solar cells is presented. The growth of at least 150 kg of mono silicon crystal, 150 mm in diameter is continuous from one growth container. A furnace with continuous liquid replenishment of the growth crucible, accomplished by a meltdown system with a continuous solid silicon feed mechanism and a liquid transfer system, with associated automatic feedback controls is discussed. Due to the silicon monoxide build up in the furnace and its retarding effect on crystal growth the furnace conversion for operation in the low pressure range is described. Development of systems for continuous solid recharging of the meltdown chamber for various forms of poly silicon is described.

  18. Use of low energy hydrogen ion implants in high efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fonash, S. J.; Singh, R.

    1985-01-01

    This program is a study of the use of low energy hydrogen ion implantation for high efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells. The first quarterly report focuses on two tasks of this program: (1) an examination of the effects of low energy hydrogen implants on surface recombination speed; and (2) an examination of the effects of hydrogen on silicon regrowth and diffusion in silicon. The first part of the project focussed on the measurement of surface properties of hydrogen implanted silicon. Low energy hydrogen ions when bombarded on the silicon surface will create structural damage at the surface, deactivate dopants and introduce recombination centers. At the same time the electrically active centers such as dangling bonds will be passivated by these hydrogen ions. Thus hydrogen is expected to alter properties such as the surface recombination velocity, dopant profiles on the emitter, etc. In this report the surface recombination velocity of a hydrogen emplanted emitter was measured.

  19. Amorphous silicon thin films: The ultimate lightweight space solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vendura, G. J., Jr.; Kruer, M. A.; Schurig, H. H.; Bianchi, M. A.; Roth, J. A.

    1994-01-01

    Progress is reported with respect to the development of thin film amorphous (alpha-Si) terrestrial solar cells for space applications. Such devices promise to result in very lightweight, low cost, flexible arrays with superior end of life (EOL) performance. Each alpha-Si cell consists of a tandem arrangement of three very thin p-i-n junctions vapor deposited between film electrodes. The thickness of this entire stack is approximately 2.0 microns, resulting in a device of negligible weight, but one that must be mechanically supported for handling and fabrication into arrays. The stack is therefore presently deposited onto a large area (12 by 13 in), rigid, glass superstrate, 40 mil thick, and preliminary space qualification testing of modules so configured is underway. At the same time, a more advanced version is under development in which the thin film stack is transferred from the glass onto a thin (2.0 mil) polymer substrate to create large arrays that are truly flexible and significantly lighter than either the glassed alpha-Si version or present conventional crystalline technologies. In this paper the key processes for such effective transfer are described. In addition, both glassed (rigid) and unglassed (flexible) alpha-Si cells are studied when integrated with various advanced structures to form lightweight systems. EOL predictions are generated for the case of a 1000 W array in a standard, 10 year geosynchronous (GEO) orbit. Specific powers (W/kg), power densities (W/sq m) and total array costs ($/sq ft) are compared.

  20. Graphene Quantum Dot Layers with Energy-Down-Shift Effect on Crystalline-Silicon Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyung D; Park, Myung J; Kim, Do-Yeon; Kim, Soo M; Kang, Byungjun; Kim, Seongtak; Kim, Hyunho; Lee, Hae-Seok; Kang, Yoonmook; Yoon, Sam S; Hong, Byung H; Kim, Donghwan

    2015-09-01

    Graphene quantum dot (GQD) layers were deposited as an energy-down-shift layer on crystalline-silicon solar cell surfaces by kinetic spraying of GQD suspensions. A supersonic air jet was used to accelerate the GQDs onto the surfaces. Here, we report the coating results on a silicon substrate and the GQDs' application as an energy-down-shift layer in crystalline-silicon solar cells, which enhanced the power conversion efficiency (PCE). GQD layers deposited at nozzle scan speeds of 40, 30, 20, and 10 mm/s were evaluated after they were used to fabricate crystalline-silicon solar cells; the results indicate that GQDs play an important role in increasing the optical absorptivity of the cells. The short-circuit current density was enhanced by about 2.94% (0.9 mA/cm(2)) at 30 mm/s. Compared to a reference device without a GQD energy-down-shift layer, the PCE of p-type silicon solar cells was improved by 2.7% (0.4 percentage points).

  1. High velocity continuous-flow reactor for the production of solar grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woerner, L.

    1977-01-01

    The feasibility of a high volume, high velocity continuous reduction reactor as an economical means of producing solar grade silicon was tested. Bromosilanes and hydrogen were used as the feedstocks for the reactor along with preheated silicon particles which function both as nucleation and deposition sites. A complete reactor system was designed and fabricated. Initial preheating studies have shown the stability of tetrabromosilane to being heated as well as the ability to preheat hydrogen to the desired temperature range. Several test runs were made and some silicon was obtained from runs carried out at temperatures in excess of 1180 K.

  2. Thin Single Crystal Silicon Solar Cells on Ceramic Substrates: November 2009 - November 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, A.; Ravi, K. V.

    2011-06-01

    In this program we have been developing a technology for fabricating thin (< 50 micrometres) single crystal silicon wafers on foreign substrates. We reverse the conventional approach of depositing or forming silicon on foreign substrates by depositing or forming thick (200 to 400 micrometres) ceramic materials on high quality single crystal silicon films ~ 50 micrometres thick. Our key innovation is the fabrication of thin, refractory, and self-adhering 'handling layers or substrates' on thin epitaxial silicon films in-situ, from powder precursors obtained from low cost raw materials. This 'handling layer' has sufficient strength for device and module processing and fabrication. Successful production of full sized (125 mm X 125 mm) silicon on ceramic wafers with 50 micrometre thick single crystal silicon has been achieved and device process flow developed for solar cell fabrication. Impurity transfer from the ceramic to the silicon during the elevated temperature consolidation process has resulted in very low minority carrier lifetimes and resulting low cell efficiencies. Detailed analysis of minority carrier lifetime, metals analysis and device characterization have been done. A full sized solar cell efficiency of 8% has been demonstrated.

  3. The complex interface chemistry of thin-film silicon/zinc oxide solar cell structures.

    PubMed

    Gerlach, D; Wimmer, M; Wilks, R G; Félix, R; Kronast, F; Ruske, F; Bär, M

    2014-12-21

    The interface between solid-phase crystallized phosphorous-doped polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si(n(+))) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) was investigated using spatially resolved photoelectron emission microscopy. We find the accumulation of aluminum in the proximity of the interface. Based on a detailed photoemission line analysis, we also suggest the formation of an interface species. Silicon suboxide and/or dehydrated hemimorphite have been identified as likely candidates. For each scenario a detailed chemical reaction pathway is suggested. The chemical instability of the poly-Si(n(+))/ZnO:Al interface is explained by the fact that SiO2 is more stable than ZnO and/or that H2 is released from the initially deposited a-Si:H during the crystallization process. As a result, Zn (a deep acceptor in silicon) is "liberated" close to the silicon/zinc oxide interface presenting the inherent risk of forming deep defects in the silicon absorber. These could act as recombination centers and thus limit the performance of silicon/zinc oxide based solar cells. Based on this insight some recommendations with respect to solar cell design, material selection, and process parameters are given for further knowledge-based thin-film silicon device optimization. PMID:25363298

  4. Effects of excitation intensity on the photocurrent response of thin film silicon solar modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Photocurrent responses of amorphous thin film silicon solar modules at room temperature were studied at different excitation intensities using various monochromatic light sources. Photocurrent imaging techniques have been effectively used to locate rapidly, and non-destructively, failure and defect sites in the multilayer thin film device. Differences observed in the photocurrent response characteristics for two different cells in the same amorphous thin film silicon solar module suggest the possibility of the formation of dissimilarly active devices, even though the module is processed in the same fabrication process. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

  5. Interface Engineering of High Efficiency Organic-Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lixia; Liu, Yaoping; Chen, Wei; Wang, Yan; Liang, Huili; Mei, Zengxia; Kuznetsov, Andrej; Du, Xiaolong

    2016-01-13

    Insufficient interface conformity is a challenge faced in hybrid organic-silicon heterojunction solar cells because of using conventional pyramid antireflection texturing provoking the porosity of interface. In this study, we tested alternative textures, in particular rounded pyramids and inverted pyramids to compare the performance. It was remarkably improved delivering 7.61%, 8.91% and 10.04% efficiency employing conventional, rounded, and inverted pyramids, respectively. The result was interpreted in terms of gradually improving conformity of the Ag/organic/silicon interface, together with the gradually decreasing serial resistance. Altogether, the present data may guide further efforts arising the interface engineering for mastering high efficient heterojunction solar cells. PMID:26701061

  6. Proceedings of the Flat-Plate Solar Array Project Workshop on Crystal Gowth for High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dumas, K. A. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    A Workshop on Crystal Growth for High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells was held December 3 and 4, 1984, in San Diego, California. The Workshop offered a day and a half of technical presentations and discussions and an afternoon session that involved a panel discussion and general discussion of areas of research that are necessary to the development of materials for high-efficiency solar cells. Topics included the theoretical and experimental aspects of growing high-quality silicon crystals, the effects of growth-process-related defects on photovoltaic devices, and the suitability of various growth technologies as cost-effective processes. Fifteen invited papers were presented, with a discussion period following each presentation. The meeting was organized by the Flat-Plate Solar Array Project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These Proceedings are a record of the presentations and discussions, edited for clarity and continuity.

  7. 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.

  8. Low cost solar array project. Experimental process system development unit for producing semiconductor-grade silicon using the silane-to-silicon process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Technical activities are reported in the design of process, facilities, and equipment for producing silicon at a rate and price comensurate with production goals for low cost solar cell modules. The silane-silicone process has potential for providing high purity poly-silicon on a commercial scale at a price of fourteen dollars per kilogram by 1986, (1980 dollars). Commercial process, economic analysis, process support research and development, and quality control are discussed.

  9. A candidate low-cost processing sequence for terrestrial silicon solar cell panel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bickler, D. B.; Gallagher, B. D.; Sanchez, L. E.

    1978-01-01

    Manufacturing sequence for silicon solar cells using Czochralsky crystal growing techniques in order to produce at a rate of 20 MW per year on a 24-hour per day basis is discussed. Cost analysis of the manufacturing is presented and consideration is given to the following processing decision categories of the manufacturing of an unencapsulated solar cell from a silicon wafer: (1) treatment of the optical surface; (2) formation of the junction(s); and (3) metallization of electrical collectors. The manufacturing of encapsulated solar modules from solar cells, using two glass plates, a low iron front surface, and a standard float glass back plate, is described. Totaling the three major activities of wafer making, cell manufacturing, and module fabrication, the resulting contribution to module price will be 1.945 $/watt.

  10. One step lithography-less silicon nanomanufacturing for low cost high-efficiency solar cell production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yi; Liu, Logan

    2014-03-01

    To improve light absorption, previously various antireflection material layers were created on solar wafer surface including multilayer dielectric film, nanoparticle sludges, microtextures, noble metal plasmonic nanoparticles and 3D silicon nanostructure arrays. All of these approaches involve nanoscale prepatterning, surface-area-sensitive assembly processes or extreme fabrication conditions; therefore, they are often limited by the associated high cost and low yield as well as the consequent industry incompatibility. In comparison, our nanomanufacturing, an unique synchronized and simultaneous top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication approach called simultaneous plasma enhanced reactive ion synthesis and etching (SPERISE), offers a better antireflection solution along with the potential to increase p-n junction surface area. High density and high aspect ratio anechoic nanocone arrays are repeatedly and reliably created on the entire surface of single and poly crystalline silicon wafers as well as amorphous silicon thin films within 5 minutes under room temperature. The nanocone surface had lower than 5% reflection over the entire solar spectrum and a desirable omnidirectional absorption property. Using the nanotextured solar wafer, a 156mm × 156mm 18.1%-efficient black silicon solar cell was fabricated, which was an 18.3% enhancement over the cell fabricated by standard industrial processes. This process also reduces silicon loss during the texturing step and enables tighter process control by creating more uniform surface structures. Considering all the above advantages, the demonstrated nanomanufacturing process can be readily translated into current industrial silicon solar cell fabrication lines to replace the costly and ineffective wet chemical texturing and antireflective coatings.

  11. Progress making the top end optical assembly (TEOA) for the 4-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canzian, Blaise; Barentine, J.; Arendt, J.; Bader, S.; Danyo, G.; Heller, C.

    2012-09-01

    L-3 Integrated Optical Systems (IOS) Division has been selected by the National Solar Observatory (NSO) to design and produce the Top End Optical Assembly (TEOA) for the 4-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) to operate at Haleakal', Maui. ATST will perform to a very high optical performance level in a difficult thermal environment. The TEOA, containing the 0.65-meter silicon carbide secondary mirror and support, mirror thermal management system, mirror positioning and fast tip-tilt system, field stop with thermally managed heat dump, thermally managed Lyot stop, safety interlock and control system, and support frame, operates in the "hot spot" at the prime focus of the ATST and so presents special challenges. In this paper, we describe progress in the L-3 technical approach to meeting these challenges, including silicon carbide off-axis mirror design, fabrication, and high accuracy figuring and polishing all within L-3; mirror support design; the design for stray light control; subsystems for opto-mechanical positioning and high accuracy absolute mirror orientation sensing; Lyot stop design; and thermal management of all design elements to remain close to ambient temperature despite the imposed solar irradiance load.

  12. Advances in Single and Multijunction III-V Photovoltaics on Silicon for Space Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilt, David M.; Fitzgerald, Eugene A.; Ringel, Steven A.

    2005-01-01

    A collaborative research effort at MIT, Ohio State University and NASA has resulted in the demonstration of record quality gallium arsenide (GaAs) based single junction photovoltaic devices on silicon (Si) substrates. The ability to integrate highly efficient, radiation hard III-V based devices on silicon offers the potential for dramatic reductions in cell mass (approx.2x) and increases in cell area. Both of these improvements offer the potential for dramatic reductions in the cost of on-orbit electrical power. Recently, lattice matched InGaP/GaAs and metamorphic InGaP/InGaAs dual junction solar cells were demonstrated by MBE and OMVPE, respectively. Single junction GaAs on Si devices have been integrated into a space flight experiment (MISSES), scheduled to be launched to the International Space Station in March of 2005. I-V performance data from the GaAs/Si will be collected on-orbit and telemetered to ground stations daily. Microcracks in the GaAs epitaxial material, generated because of differences in the thermal expansion coefficient between GaAs and Si, are of concern in the widely varying thermal environment encountered in low Earth orbit. Ground based thermal life cycling (-80 C to + 80 C) equivalent to 1 year in LEO has been conducted on GaAs/Si devices with no discernable degradation in device performance, suggesting that microcracks may not limit the ability to field GaAs/Si in harsh thermal environments. Recent advances in the development and testing of III-V photovoltaic devices on Si will be presented.

  13. The establishment of a production-ready manufacturing process utilizing thin silicon substrates for solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pryor, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    Three inch diameter Czochralski silicon substrates sliced directly to 5 mil, 8 mil, and 27 mil thicknesses with wire saw techniques were procured. Processing sequences incorporating either diffusion or ion implantation technologies were employed to produce n+p or n+pp+ solar cell structures. These cells were evaluated for performance, ease of fabrication, and cost effectiveness. It was determined that the use of 7 mil or even 4 mil wafers would provide near term cost reductions for solar cell manufacturers.

  14. Failure analysis of thin-film amorphous-silicon solar-cell modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Q.

    1984-01-01

    A failure analysis of thin film amorphous silicon solar cell modules was conducted. The purpose of this analysis is to provide information and data for appropriate corrective action that could result in improvements in product quality and reliability. Existing techniques were expanded in order to evaluate and characterize degradational performance of a-Si solar cells. Microscopic and macroscopic defects and flaws that significantly contribute to performance degradation were investigated.

  15. Tandem solar cells made from amorphous silicon and polymer bulk heterojunction sub-cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Sung Heum; Shin, Insoo; Kim, Kwang Ho; Street, Robert; Roy, Anshuman; Heeger, Alan J

    2015-01-14

    A tandem solar cell based on a combination of an amorphous silicon (a-Si) and polymer solar cell (PSC) is demonstrated. As these tandem devices can be readily fabricated by low-cost methods, they require only a minor increase in the total manufacturing cost. Therefore, a combination of a-Si and PSC provides a compelling solution to reduce the cost of electricity produced by photovoltaics.

  16. Tandem solar cells made from amorphous silicon and polymer bulk heterojunction sub-cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Sung Heum; Shin, Insoo; Kim, Kwang Ho; Street, Robert; Roy, Anshuman; Heeger, Alan J

    2015-01-14

    A tandem solar cell based on a combination of an amorphous silicon (a-Si) and polymer solar cell (PSC) is demonstrated. As these tandem devices can be readily fabricated by low-cost methods, they require only a minor increase in the total manufacturing cost. Therefore, a combination of a-Si and PSC provides a compelling solution to reduce the cost of electricity produced by photovoltaics. PMID:25410395

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    1980-01-01

    Zinc is a major residue impurity in the preparation of solar grade silicon material by the zinc vapor reduction of silicon tetrachloride. It was found that in order to get a 17 percent AMl cell efficiency, 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 power Zn/cu cm in the p-base n+/p/p+ cell and 7 x 10 to the 11th power Zn/cu cm in the n-base p+/n/n+ cell for a base dopant impurity concentration of 5 x 10 to the 14th power atoms/cu cm. If the base dopant impurity concentration is increased by a factor of 10 to 5 x 10 to the 15th power atoms/cu cm, then the maximum allowable zinc concentration is increased by a factor of about two for a 17 percent AMl efficiency. The thermal equilibrium electron and hole recombination and generation rates at the double acceptor zinc cancers were obtained from previous high field measurements as well as new measurements at zero field. The rates were used in the exact d.c. circuit model to compute the projections.

  19. Cost Trade Between Multi-Junction, Gallium Arsenide, and Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaddy, Edward M.

    1995-01-01

    Multi-junction (MJ), gallium arsenide (GaAs), and silicon (Si) solar cells have respective test efficiencies of approximately 24%, 18.5% and 14.8%. Multi-junction and gallium arsenide solar cells weigh more than silicon solar 2 cells and cost approximately five times as much per unit power at the cell level. A trade is performed for the TRMM spacecraft to determine which of these cell types would have offered an overall performance and price advantage to the spacecraft. A trade is also performed for the multi-junction cells under the assumption that they will cost over ten times that of silicon cells at the cell level. The trade shows that the TRMM project, less the cost of the instrument, ground systems and mission operations, would spend approximately $552,000 dollars per kilogram to launch and suppon3science in the case of the spacecraft equipped with silicon solar cells. If these cells are changed out for gallium arsenide solar cells, an additional 31 kilograms of science can be launched and serviced at a price of approximately $90 thousand per kilogram. The weight reduction is shown to derive from the smaller area of the array and hence reductions in the weight of the array substrate and supporting structure. ff the silicon solar cells are changed out for multi-junction solar cells, an additional 45 kilograms of science above the silicon base line can be launched and supported at a price of approximately $58,000 per kilogram. The trade shows that even if the multi-junction cells are priced over ten times that of silicon cells, a price that is much higher than projected, that the additional 45 kilograms of science are launched and serviced at $180,000 per kilogram. This is still much less than the original $552,000 per kilogram to launch and service the science. Data and qualitative factors are presented to show that these figures are subject to a great deal of uncertainty. Nonetheless, the benefit of the higher efficiency solar cells for TRMM is far greater

  20. Straw man trade between multi-junction, gallium arsenide, and silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaddy, Edward M.

    1995-01-01

    Multi-junction (MJ), gallium arsenide (GaAs), and silicon (Si) solar cells have respective test efficiencies of approximately 24%, 18.5% and 14.8%. Multi-junction and gallium arsenide solar cells weigh more than silicon solar cells and cost approximately five times as much per unit power at the cell level. A straw man trade is performed for the TRMM spacecraft to determine which of these cell types would have offered an overall performance and price advantage to the spacecraft. A straw man trade is also performed for the multi-junction cells under the assumption that they will cost over ten times that of silicon cells at the cell level. The trade shows that the TRMM project, less the cost of the instrument, ground systems and mission operations, would spend approximately $552 thousand dollars per kilogram to launch and service science in the case of the spacecraft equipped with silicon solar cells. If these cells are changed out for gallium arsenide solar cells, an additional 31 kilograms of science can be launched and serviced at a price of approximately $90 thousand per kilogram. The weight reduction is shown to derive from the smaller area of the array and hence reductions in the weight of the array substrate and supporting structure. If the silicon solar cells are changed out for multi-junction solar cells, an additional 45 kilograms of science above the silicon base line can be launched and serviced at a price of approximately $58 thousand per kilogram. The trade shows that even if the multi-junction arrays are priced over ten times that of silicon cells, a price that is much higher than projected, that the additional 45 kilograms of science are launched and serviced at $182 thousand per kilogram. This is still much less than original $552 thousand per kilogram to launch and service the science. Data and qualitative factors are presented to show that these figures are subject to a great deal of uncertainty. Nonetheless, the benefit of the higher efficiency

  1. Nanophotonics-based low-temperature PECVD epitaxial crystalline silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wanghua; Cariou, Romain; Foldyna, Martin; Depauw, Valerie; Trompoukis, Christos; Drouard, Emmanuel; Lalouat, Loic; Harouri, Abdelmounaim; Liu, Jia; Fave, Alain; Orobtchouk, Régis; Mandorlo, Fabien; Seassal, Christian; Massiot, Inès; Dmitriev, Alexandre; Lee, Ki-Dong; Cabarrocas, Pere Roca i.

    2016-03-01

    The enhancement of light absorption via nanopatterning in crystalline silicon solar cells is becoming extremely important with the decrease of wafer thickness for the further reduction of solar cell fabrication cost. In order to study the influence of nanopatterning on crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells, we applied two lithography techniques (laser interference lithography and nanoimprint lithography) combined with two etching techniques (dry and wet) to epitaxial crystalline silicon thin films deposited via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition at 175 °C. The influence of nanopatterning with different etching profiles on solar cell performance is studied. We found that the etching profiles (pitch, depth and diameter) have a stronger impact on the passivation quality (open circuit voltage and fill factor) than on the optical performance (short circuit current density) of the solar cells. We also show that nanopatterns obtained via wet-etching can improve solar cell performance; and in contrast, dry-etching leads to poor passivation related to the etching profile, surface damage, and/or contamination introduced during the etching process.

  2. Recent Advances on Solar Global Magnetism and Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brun, A. S.; Browning, M. K.; Dikpati, M.; Hotta, H.; Strugarek, A.

    2015-12-01

    We discuss recent observational, theoretical and numerical progress made in understanding the solar global magnetism and its short and long term variability. We discuss the physical process thought to be at the origin of the solar magnetic field and its 22-yr cycle, namely dynamo action, and the nonlinear interplay between convection, rotation, radiation and magnetic field, yielding modulations of the solar constant or of the large scale flows such as the torsional oscillations. We also discuss the role of the field parity and dynamo families in explaining the complex multipolar structure of the solar global magnetic field. We then present some key MHD processes acting in the deep radiative interior and discuss the probable topology of a primordial field there. Finally we summarize how helioseismology has contributed to these recent advances and how it could contribute to resolving current unsolved problems in solar global dynamics and magnetism.

  3. Advanced Solar Cell Testing and Characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila; Curtis, Henry; Piszczor, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The topic for this workshop stems from an ongoing effort by the photovoltaic community and U.S. government to address issues and recent problems associated with solar cells and arrays experienced by a number of different space systems. In April 2003, a workshop session was held at the Aerospace Space Power Workshop to discuss an effort by the Air Force to update and standardize solar cell and array qualification test procedures in an effort to ameliorate some of these problems. The organizers of that workshop session thought it was important to continue these discussions and present this information to the entire photovoltaic community. Thus, it was decided to include this topic as a workshop at the following SPRAT conference.

  4. Development of Novel Front Contract Pastes for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Duty, C.; Jellison, D. G.E. P.; Joshi, P.

    2012-04-05

    In order to improve the efficiencies of silicon solar cells, paste to silicon contact formation mechanisms must be more thoroughly understood as a function of paste chemistry, wafer properties and firing conditions. Ferro Corporation has been involved in paste development for over 30 years and has extensive expertise in glass and paste formulations. This project has focused on the characterization of the interface between the top contact material (silver paste) and the underlying silicon wafer. It is believed that the interface between the front contact silver and the silicon wafer plays a dominant role in the electrical performance of the solar cell. Development of an improved front contact microstructure depends on the paste chemistry, paste interaction with the SiNx, and silicon (“Si”) substrate, silicon sheet resistivity, and the firing profile. Typical front contact ink contains silver metal powders and flakes, glass powder and other inorganic additives suspended in an organic medium of resin and solvent. During fast firing cycles glass melts, wets, corrodes the SiNx layer, and then interacts with underlying Si. Glass chemistry is also a critical factor in the development of an optimum front contact microstructure. Over the course of this project, several fundamental characteristics of the Ag/Si interface were documented, including a higher-than-expected distribution of voids along the interface, which could significantly impact electrical conductivity. Several techniques were also investigated for the interfacial analysis, including STEM, EDS, FIB, EBSD, and ellipsometry.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Work is reported aimed at identifying and reducing sources of carrier recombination both in the starting web silicon material and in the processed cells. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy measurements of several web cells were made and analyzed. The effect of the heavily twinned region on cell efficiency was modeled, and the modeling results compared to measured values for processed cells. The effects of low energy, high dose hydrogen ion implantation on cell efficiency and diffusion length were examined. Cells were fabricated from web silicon known to have a high diffusion length, with a new double layer antireflection coating being applied to these cells. A new contact system, to be used with oxide passivated cells and which greatly reduces the area of contact between metal and silicon, was designed. The application of DLTS measurements to beveled samples was further investigated.

  6. Low cost processes for solar-grade silicon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. P.

    1975-01-01

    Upgrading metallurgical grade silicon is being pursued in four associated areas in order to improve the purity of the normally 98% material. The first two work areas involve purification of raw materials entering the process in addition to upgrading the arc furnace itself. The second two areas of process upgrading comprise improving the purity of the silicon after it leaves the arc furnace by reactive gas blowing and unidirectional freezing. The best cell produced to date was fabricated from MG-Si that had been blown with an O2-Cl2 mixture, unidirectionally solidified, and 6-float-zone passed (to determine a base boron level of 0.04 ohm/cm). The cell showed a 10.7% AMO efficiency. In the other processes category, the use of silicates as a silicon source and of electrolysis as a process were studied. The best electrolytic process uses a 1000 C fused salt of silica in cryolite.

  7. A reliable all-silver front contact for silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lamneck, J. H., Jr.; Schwartz, L.

    1972-01-01

    The feasibility of making an adherent and moisture degradation resistant silver-only front contact to silicon solar cells was demonstrated. Optimum fabrication processes and process sequences were determined for making such contacts. These contacts were found to also have good electrical characteristics. A back contact of aluminum-silver was also developed. This proved very satisfactory for low-temperature applications.

  8. Optimization of interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction solar cells by two-dimensional numerical simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Meijun; Das, Ujjwal; Bowden, Stuart; Hegedus, Steven; Birmire, Robert

    2009-06-09

    In this paper, two-dimensional (2D) simulation of interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cells is presented using Sentaurus Device, a software package of Synopsys TCAD. A model is established incorporating a distribution of trap states of amorphous-silicon material and thermionic emission across the amorphous-silicon / crystalline-silicon heterointerface. The 2D nature of IBC-SHJ device is evaluated and current density-voltage (J-V) curves are generated. Optimization of IBC-SHJ solar cells is then discussed through simulation. It is shown that the open circuit voltage (VOC) and short circuit current density (JSC) of IBC-SHJ solar cells increase with decreasing front surface recombination velocity. The JSC improves further with the increase of relative coverage of p-type emitter contacts, which is explained by the simulated and measured position dependent laser beam induced current (LBIC) line scan. The S-shaped J-V curves with low fill factor (FF) observed in experiments are also simulated, and three methods to improve FF by modifying the intrinsic a-Si buffer layer are suggested: (i) decreased thickness, (ii) increased conductivity, and (iii) reduced band gap. With all these optimizations, an efficiency of 26% for IBC-SHJ solar cells is potentially achievable.

  9. Three-dimensional atomic mapping of hydrogenated polymorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wanghua; Pareige, Philippe; Roca i Cabarrocas, Pere

    2016-06-01

    Hydrogenated polymorphous silicon (pm-Si:H) is a nanostructured material consisting of silicon nanocrystals embedded in an amorphous silicon matrix. Its use as the intrinsic layer in thin film p-i-n solar cells has led to good cell properties in terms of stability and efficiency. Here, we have been able to assess directly the concentration and distribution of nanocrystals and impurities (dopants) in p-i-n solar cells, by using femtosecond laser-assisted atom probe tomography (APT). An effective sample preparation method for APT characterization is developed. Based on the difference in atomic density between hydrogenated amorphous and crystalline silicon, we are able to distinguish the nanocrystals from the amorphous matrix by using APT. Moreover, thanks to the three-dimensional reconstruction, we demonstrate that Si nanocrystals are homogeneously distributed in the entire intrinsic layer of the solar cell. The influence of the process pressure on the incorporation of nanocrystals and their distribution is also investigated. Thanks to APT we could determine crystalline fractions as low as 4.2% in the pm-Si:H films, which is very difficult to determine by standard techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and spectroscopic ellipsometry. Moreover, we also demonstrate a sharp p/i interface in our solar cells.

  10. Annealing radiation damaged silicon solar cells with a copper halide laser

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, T. J.

    1980-01-01

    The use of a multiply pulsed copper halide laser to significantly anneal out the damage to silicon solar cells caused by a simulated space radiation environment is investigated. Preliminary experiments demonstrate that the amount of damage can be decreased by 41% as measured by the maximum power generated.

  11. Heterojunction Solar Cells Based on Silicon and Composite Films of Graphene Oxide and Carbon Nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Yu, LePing; Tune, Daniel; Shearer, Cameron; Shapter, Joseph

    2015-09-01

    Graphene oxide (GO) sheets have been used as the surfactant to disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) in water to prepare GO/CNT electrodes that are applied to silicon to form a heterojunction that can be used in solar cells. GO/CNT films with different ratios of the two components and with various thicknesses have been used as semitransparent electrodes, and the influence of both factors on the performance of the solar cell has been studied. The degradation rate of the GO/CNT-silicon devices under ambient conditions has also been explored. The influence of the film thickness on the device performance is related to the interplay of two competing factors, namely, sheet resistance and transmittance. CNTs help to improve the conductivity of the GO/CNT film, and GO is able to protect the silicon from oxidation in the atmosphere.

  12. Amorphous/crystalline silicon interface passivation: Ambient-temperature dependence and implications for solar cell performance

    DOE PAGES

    Seif, Johannes P.; Krishnamani, Gopal; Demaurex, Benedicte; Ballif, Christophe; Wolf, Stefaan De

    2015-03-02

    Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells feature amorphous silicon passivation films, which enable very high voltages. We report how such passivation increases with operating temperature for amorphous silicon stacks involving doped layers and decreases for intrinsic-layer-only passivation. We discuss the implications of this phenomenon on the solar cell's temperature coefficient, which represents an important figure-of-merit for the energy yield of devices deployed in the field. We show evidence that both open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF) are affected by these variations in passivation and quantify these temperature-mediated effects, compared with those expected from standard diode equations. We confirm that devicesmore » with high Voc values at 25°C show better high-temperature performance. Thus, we also argue that the precise device architecture, such as the presence of charge-transport barriers, may affect the temperature-dependent device performance as well.« less

  13. Liquid-phase-deposited siloxane-based capping layers for silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Veith-Wolf, Boris; Wang, Jianhui; Hannu-Kuure, Milja; Chen, Ning; Hadzic, Admir; Williams, Paul; Leivo, Jarkko; Karkkainen, Ari; Schmidt, Jan

    2015-02-02

    We apply non-vacuum processing to deposit dielectric capping layers on top of ultrathin atomic-layer-deposited aluminum oxide (AlO{sub x}) films, used for the rear surface passivation of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells. We examine various siloxane-based liquid-phase-deposited (LPD) materials. Our optimized AlO{sub x}/LPD stacks show an excellent thermal and chemical stability against aluminum metal paste, as demonstrated by measured surface recombination velocities below 10 cm/s on 1.3 Ωcm p-type silicon wafers after firing in a belt-line furnace with screen-printed aluminum paste on top. Implementation of the optimized LPD layers into an industrial-type screen-printing solar cell process results in energy conversion efficiencies of up to 19.8% on p-type Czochralski silicon.

  14. Phase 2 of the array automated assembly task for the low cost silicon solar array project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    Studies were conducted on several fundamental aspects of electroless nickel/solder metallization for silicon solar cells. A process, which precedes the electroless nickel plating with several steps of palladium plating and heat treatment, was compared directly with single step electroless nickel plating. Work was directed toward answering specific questions concerning the effect of silicon surface oxide on nickel plating, effects of thermal stresses on the metallization, sintering of nickel plated on silicon, and effects of exposure to the plating solution on solar cell characteristics. The process was found to be extremely lengthy and cumbersome, and was also found to produce a product virtually identical to that produced by single step electroless nickel plating, as shown by adhesion tests and electrical characteristics of cells under illumination.

  15. Nanoimprinted diffraction gratings for crystalline silicon solar cells: implementation, characterization and simulation.

    PubMed

    Mellor, Alexander; Hauser, Hubert; Wellens, Christine; Benick, Jan; Eisenlohr, Johannes; Peters, Marius; Guttowski, Aron; Tobías, Ignacio; Martí, Antonio; Luque, Antonio; Bläsi, Benedikt

    2013-03-11

    Light trapping is becoming of increasing importance in crystalline silicon solar cells as thinner wafers are used to reduce costs. In this work, we report on light trapping by rear-side diffraction gratings produced by nano-imprint lithography using interference lithography as the mastering technology. Gratings fabricated on crystalline silicon wafers are shown to provide significant absorption enhancements. Through a combination of optical measurement and simulation, it is shown that the crossed grating provides better absorption enhancement than the linear grating, and that the parasitic reflector absorption is reduced by planarizing the rear reflector, leading to an increase in the useful absorption in the silicon. Finally, electro-optical simulations are performed of solar cells employing the fabricated grating structures to estimate efficiency enhancement potential.

  16. Amorphous/crystalline silicon interface passivation: Ambient-temperature dependence and implications for solar cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Seif, Johannes P.; Krishnamani, Gopal; Demaurex, Benedicte; Ballif, Christophe; Wolf, Stefaan De

    2015-03-02

    Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells feature amorphous silicon passivation films, which enable very high voltages. We report how such passivation increases with operating temperature for amorphous silicon stacks involving doped layers and decreases for intrinsic-layer-only passivation. We discuss the implications of this phenomenon on the solar cell's temperature coefficient, which represents an important figure-of-merit for the energy yield of devices deployed in the field. We show evidence that both open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF) are affected by these variations in passivation and quantify these temperature-mediated effects, compared with those expected from standard diode equations. We confirm that devices with high Voc values at 25°C show better high-temperature performance. Thus, we also argue that the precise device architecture, such as the presence of charge-transport barriers, may affect the temperature-dependent device performance as well.

  17. Development of an Improved High Efficiency Thin Silicon Solar Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Storti, G.; Wrigley, C.

    1979-01-01

    Breakage and front contact failure in high efficiency, textured ultrathin cells was reduced as a consequence of the introduction of process modifications. In a small production run, over one hundred ultrathin cells, having an average AMO efficiency of 13%, were fabricated from 10-25 ohm cm silicon. An in-house aluminum paste for back surface field formation was developed that resulted in cell efficiencies equivalent to those from commercial pastes. The quality of the back surface field was found to be dependent on the orientation of the silicon slice during alloying.

  18. Heavy doping effects in high efficiency silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindholm, F. A.; Neugroschel, A.; Landsberg, P. T.; San, C. T.

    1984-01-01

    A model for bandgap shrinkage in semiconductors is developed and applied to silicon. A survey of earlier experiments, and of new ones, give an agreement between the model and experiments on n- and p-type silicon which is good as far as transport measurements in the 300 K range. The discrepancies between theory and experiment are no worse than the discrepancies between the experimental results of various authors. It also gives a good account of recent, optical determinations of band gap shrinkage at 5 K.

  19. Properties of Neutron Doped Multicrystalline Silicon for Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pochrybniak, C.; Pytel, K.; Milczarek, J. J.; Jaroszewicz, J.; Lipiński, M.; Piotrowski, T.; Kansy, J.

    2008-04-01

    The technology of neutron transmutation doping of silicon wafers in MARIA nuclear research reactor is described. The studies of the radiation defects performed with positron annihilation confirmed that divacancies dominate in the irradiated material. Thermal treatment of irradiated silicon at 700-1000°C produces void-phosphorus complexes and void aggregates. The resistivity of the samples produced by neutron transmutation doping was found to be uniform within 2.5% limits. The severe reduction of the minority carrier lifetime in irradiated samples was confirmed.

  20. Transmissive metallic contact for amorphous silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Madan, A.

    1984-11-29

    A transmissive metallic contact for amorphous silicon semiconductors includes a thin layer of metal, such as aluminum or other low work function metal, coated on the amorphous silicon with an antireflective layer coated on the metal. A transparent substrate, such as glass, is positioned on the light reflective layer. The metallic layer is preferably thin enough to transmit at least 50% of light incident thereon, yet thick enough to conduct electricity. The antireflection layer is preferably a transparent material that has a refractive index in the range of 1.8 to 2.2 and is approximately 550A to 600A thick.

  1. Systematic process development towards high performance transferred thin silicon solar cells based on epitaxially grown absorbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murcia Salazar, Clara Paola

    The value of thin crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells is the potential for higher performance compared to conventional wafer approaches. Thin silicon solar cells can outperform thick cells with the same material properties because the smaller active volume causes a reduced bulk recombination leading to higher voltages while efficient light trapping structures ensure all photons are absorbed. Efficiencies above 20+% can be achieved with less than 20um of c-Si with current silicon solar cell processing technologies. In a thin solar cell, factors that will lead to high efficiency include high minority carrier lifetime, low surface recombination, and good optical confinement. Independently optimizing surface optical and electrical properties in a thin solar cell can achieve this higher performance. In addition, re-utilizing a c-Si wafer with a process that allows optimization of both surfaces is a path to higher performance at lower cost. The challenge in the fabrication of this high performance concept is to separately analyze critical parameters through fabrication and transfer and establish the design rules for high performance. This work contributes to the design and systematic fabrication approach of a 20 mum thick epitaxial silicon solar cell. State-of-the-art thin absorbers of less than 30um have reported 655mV (on a textured front surface with antireflection coating), and efficiencies near 17%. We report near 640mV (on a planar front surface with antireflection coating) for 20 mum thick absorbers. It is found that previously reported efficiencies are tightly related to solar cell's active thickness. In the case of transferred solar cells, the thinnest epitaxial transferred cell reported is near 24 mum thick with an efficiency of 15.4% (transparent front handle, textured with ARC and metallic back reflector). Recently, a c-Si transferred solar cell of 43 mum has reported 19.1% efficiency (with a front texture and ARC with localized back contact and reflector

  2. Evaluation of transition metal oxide as carrier-selective contacts for silicon heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, L.; Boccard, Matthieu; Holman, Zachary; Bertoni, M.

    2015-04-06

    "Reducing light absorption in the non-active solar cell layers, while enabling the extraction of the photogenerated minority carriers at quasi-Fermi levels are two key factors to improve current generation and voltage, and therefore efficiency of silicon heterojunction solar devices. To address these two critical aspects, transition metal oxide materials have been proposed as alternative to the n- and p-type amorphous silicon used as electron and hole selective contacts, respectively. Indeed, transition metal oxides such as molybdenum oxide, titanium oxide, nickel oxide or tungsten oxide combine a wide band gap typically over 3 eV with a band structure and theoretical band alignment with silicon that results in high transparency to the solar spectrum and in selectivity for the transport of only one carrier type. Improving carrier extraction or injection using transition metal oxide has been a topic of investigation in the field of organic solar cells and organic LEDs; from these pioneering works a lot of knowledge has been gained on materials properties, ways to control these during synthesis and deposition, and their impact on device performance. Recently, the transfer of some of this knowledge to silicon solar cells and the successful application of some metal oxide to contact heterojunction devices have gained much attention. In this contribution, we investigate the suitability of various transition metal oxide films (molybdenum oxide, titanium oxide, and tungsten oxide) deposited either by thermal evaporation or sputtering as transparent hole or electron selective transport layer for silicon solar cells. In addition to systematically characterize their optical and structural properties, we use photoemission spectroscopy to relate compound stoichiometry to band structure and characterize band alignment to silicon. The direct silicon/metal oxide interface is further analyzed by quasi-steady state photoconductance decay method to assess the quality of surface

  3. Straw man trade between multi-junction, gallium arsenide, and silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gaddy, E.M.

    1995-10-01

    Multi-junction (MJ), gallium arsenide (GaAs), and silicon (Si) solar cells have respective test efficiencies of approximately 24%, 18.5% and 14.8%. Multi-junction and gallium arsenide solar cells weigh more than silicon solar cells and cost approximately five times as much per unit power at the cell level. A straw man trade is performed for the TRMM spacecraft to determine which of these cell types would have offered an overall performance and price advantage to the spacecraft. A straw man trade is also performed for the multi-junction cells under the assumption that they will cost over ten times that of silicon cells at the cell level. The trade shows that the TRMM project, less the cost of the instrument, ground systems and mission operations, would spend approximately $552 thousand dollars per kilogram to launch and service science in the case of the spacecraft equipped with silicon solar cells. If these cells are changed out for gallium arsenide solar cells, an additional 31 kilograms of science can be launched and serviced at a price of approximately $90 thousand per kilogram. The weight reduction is shown to derive from the smaller area of the array and hence reductions in the weight of the array substrate and supporting structure. If the silicon solar cells are changed out for multi-junction solar cells, an additional 45 kilograms of science above the silicon base line can be launched and serviced at a price of approximately $58 thousand per kilogram. The trade shows that even if the multi-junction arrays are priced over ten times that of silicon cells, a price that is much higher than projected, that the additional 45 kilograms of science are launched and serviced at $182 thousand per kilogram. This is still much less than original $552 thousand per kilogram to launch and service the science. Data and qualitative factors are presented to show that these figures are subject to a great deal of uncertainty.

  4. Solar photovoltaic research and development program of the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory. [silicon solar cell applicable to satellite power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wise, J.

    1979-01-01

    Progress is reported in the following areas: laser weapon effects, solar silicon solar cell concepts, and high voltage hardened, high power system technology. Emphasis is placed on solar cells with increased energy conversion efficiency and radiation resistance characteristics for application to satellite power systems.

  5. MIS solar cells on thin polycrystalline silicon. Progress report No. 3, September 1-November 30, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, W.A.

    1980-12-01

    The first task of this project involves electron-beam deposition of thin silicon films on low cost substrates. The goal is to obtain 20 ..mu..m thick films having 20 ..mu..m diameter crystallites which may be recrystallized to > 40 ..mu..m. Material characterization and device studies are to be included in efforts to reach a 6% conversion efficiency. The second task deals with MIS solar cell fabrication on various types of silicon including poly-Si, ribbon-Si, silicon on ceramic, and thin film silicon. Conduction mechanism studies, optimum engineering design, and modification of the fabrication process are to be used to achieve 13% efficiency on Xtal-Si and 11% efficiency on poly-Si. The third task involves more detailed test procedures and includes spectral response, interface and grain boundary effects, computer analysis, materials studies, and grain boundary passivation. Progress is detailed. (WHK)

  6. Schottky barrier amorphous silicon solar cell with thin doped region adjacent metal Schottky barrier

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, David E.; Wronski, Christopher R.

    1979-01-01

    A Schottky barrier amorphous silicon solar cell incorporating a thin highly doped p-type region of hydrogenated amorphous silicon disposed between a Schottky barrier high work function metal and the intrinsic region of hydrogenated amorphous silicon wherein said high work function metal and said thin highly doped p-type region forms a surface barrier junction with the intrinsic amorphous silicon layer. The thickness and concentration of p-type dopants in said p-type region are selected so that said p-type region is fully ionized by the Schottky barrier high work function metal. The thin highly doped p-type region has been found to increase the open circuit voltage and current of the photovoltaic device.

  7. Graphene as a transparent electrode for amorphous silicon-based solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Vaianella, F. Rosolen, G.; Maes, B.

    2015-06-28

    The properties of graphene in terms of transparency and conductivity make it an ideal candidate to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) in a transparent conducting electrode. However, graphene is not always as good as ITO for some applications, due to a non-negligible absorption. For amorphous silicon photovoltaics, we have identified a useful case with a graphene-silica front electrode that improves upon ITO. For both electrode technologies, we simulate the weighted absorption in the active layer of planar amorphous silicon-based solar cells with a silver back-reflector. The graphene device shows a significantly increased absorbance compared to ITO-based cells for a large range of silicon thicknesses (34.4% versus 30.9% for a 300 nm thick silicon layer), and this result persists over a wide range of incidence angles.

  8. Calculated and Experimental Research of Sheet Resistances of Laser-Doped Silicon Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tao; Wang, Wen-Jing

    2015-02-01

    The calculated and experimental research of sheet resistances of crystalline silicon solar cells by dry laser doping is investigated. The nonlinear numerical model on laser melting of crystalline silicon and liquid-phase diffusion of phosphorus atoms by dry laser doping is analyzed by the finite difference method implemented in MATLAB. The melting period and melting depth of crystalline silicon as a function of laser energy density is achieved. The effective liquid-phase diffusion of phosphorus atoms in melting silicon by dry laser doping is confirmed by the rapid decrease of sheet resistances in experimental measurement. The plateau of sheet resistances is reached at around 15Ω/□. The calculated sheet resistances as a function of laser energy density is obtained and the calculated results are in good agreement with the corresponding experimental measurement. Due to the successful verification by comparison between experimental measurement and calculated results, the simulation results could be used to optimize the virtual laser doping parameters.

  9. Fatigue degradation and electric recovery in Silicon solar cells embedded in photovoltaic modules

    PubMed Central

    Paggi, Marco; Berardone, Irene; Infuso, Andrea; Corrado, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Cracking in Silicon solar cells is an important factor for the electrical power-loss of photovoltaic modules. Simple geometrical criteria identifying the amount of inactive cell areas depending on the position of cracks with respect to the main electric conductors have been proposed in the literature to predict worst case scenarios. Here we present an experimental study based on the electroluminescence (EL) technique showing that crack propagation in monocrystalline Silicon cells embedded in photovoltaic (PV) modules is a much more complex phenomenon. In spite of the very brittle nature of Silicon, due to the action of the encapsulating polymer and residual thermo-elastic stresses, cracked regions can recover the electric conductivity during mechanical unloading due to crack closure. During cyclic bending, fatigue degradation is reported. This pinpoints the importance of reducing cyclic stresses caused by vibrations due to transportation and use, in order to limit the effect of cracking in Silicon cells. PMID:24675974

  10. Cost-Effective Silicon Wafers for Solar Cells: Direct Wafer Enabling Terawatt Photovoltaics

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-15

    Broad Funding Opportunity Announcement Project: 1366 is developing a process to reduce the cost of solar electricity by up to 50% by 2020—from $0.15 per kilowatt hour to less than $0.07. 1366’s process avoids the costly step of slicing a large block of silicon crystal into wafers, which turns half the silicon to dust. Instead, the company is producing thin wafers directly from molten silicon at industry-standard sizes, and with efficiencies that compare favorably with today’s state-of-the-art technologies. 1366’s wafers could directly replace wafers currently on the market, so there would be no interruptions to the delivery of these products to market. As a result of 1366’s technology, the cost of silicon wafers could be reduced by 80%.

  11. Advanced Silicon Detectors for High Energy Astrophysics Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricker, George

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on the development of silicon detectors for high energy astrophysics missions is presented. The topics include: 1) Background: Motivation for Event-Driven CCD; 2) Report of Grant Activity; 3) Packaged EDCCD; 4) Measured X-ray Energy Resolution of the Gen1 EDCCDs Operated in "Conventional Mode"; and 5) EDCCD Gen 1.5-Lot 1 Planning.

  12. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1975-01-01

    Progress is reported in an attempt to realize higher specific power output and radiation resistance from thin solar cells for space applications. The efforts applied to establishing the technological base for fabricating high efficiency thin solar cells are described. Progress is characterized by continuous improvements in all parameters of the space cell.

  13. Impurity concentrations and surface charge densities on the heavily doped face of a silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, I.; Hsu, L. C.

    1977-01-01

    Increased solar cell efficiencies are attained by reduction of surface recombination and variation of impurity concentration profiles at the n(+) surface of silicon solar cells. Diagnostic techniques are employed to evaluate the effects of specific materials preparation methodologies on surface and near surface concentrations. It is demonstrated that the MOS C-V method, when combined with a bulk measurement technique, yields more complete concentration data than are obtainable by either method alone. Specifically, new solar cell MOS C-V measurements are combined with bulk concentrations obtained by a successive layer removal technique utilizing measurements of sheet resistivity and Hall coefficient.

  14. Infrared light management in high-efficiency silicon heterojunction and rear-passivated solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holman, Zachary C.; Filipič, Miha; Descoeudres, Antoine; De Wolf, Stefaan; Smole, Franc; Topič, Marko; Ballif, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Silicon heterojunction solar cells have record-high open-circuit voltages but suffer from reduced short-circuit currents due in large part to parasitic absorption in the amorphous silicon, transparent conductive oxide (TCO), and metal layers. We previously identified and quantified visible and ultraviolet parasitic absorption in heterojunctions; here, we extend the analysis to infrared light in heterojunction solar cells with efficiencies exceeding 20%. An extensive experimental investigation of the TCO layers indicates that the rear layer serves as a crucial electrical contact between amorphous silicon and the metal reflector. If very transparent and at least 150 nm thick, the rear TCO layer also maximizes infrared response. An optical model that combines a ray-tracing algorithm and a thin-film simulator reveals why: parallel-polarized light arriving at the rear surface at oblique incidence excites surface plasmons in the metal reflector, and this parasitic absorption in the metal can exceed the absorption in the TCO layer itself. Thick TCO layers—or dielectric layers, in rear-passivated diffused-junction silicon solar cells—reduce the penetration of the evanescent waves to the metal, thereby increasing internal reflectance at the rear surface. With an optimized rear TCO layer, the front TCO dominates the infrared losses in heterojunction solar cells. As its thickness and carrier density are constrained by anti-reflection and lateral conduction requirements, the front TCO can be improved only by increasing its electron mobility. Cell results attest to the power of TCO optimization: With a high-mobility front TCO and a 150-nm-thick, highly transparent rear ITO layer, we recently reported a 4-cm2 silicon heterojunction solar cell with an active-area short-circuit current density of nearly 39 mA/cm2 and a certified efficiency of over 22%.

  15. Development of an improved high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.

    1978-01-01

    Efforts were concerned with optimizing techniques for thinning silicon slices in NaOH etches, initial investigations of surface texturing, variation of furnace treatments to improve cell efficiency, initial efforts on optimization of gridline and cell sizes and Pilot Line fabrication of quantities of 2 cm x 2 cm 50 micron thick cells.

  16. Polycrystalline Silicon Sheets for Solar Cells by the Improved Spinning Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maeda, Y.; Yokoyama, T.; Hide, I.

    1984-01-01

    Cost reduction of silicon materials in the photovoltaic program of materials was examined. The current process of producing silicon sheets is based entirely on the conventional Czochralski ingot growth and wafering used in the semiconductor industry. The current technology cannot meet the cost reduction demands for producing low cost silicon sheets. Alternative sheet production processes such as unconventional crystallization are needed. The production of polycrystalline silicon sheets by unconventional ingot technology is the casting technique. Though large grain sheets were obtained by this technique, silicon ribbon growth overcomes deficiencies of the casting process by obtaining the sheet directly from the melt. The need to solve difficulties of growth stability and impurity effects are examined. The direct formation process of polycrystalline silicon sheets with large grain size, smooth surface, and sharp edges from the melt with a high growth rate which will yield low cost silicon sheets for solar cells and the photovoltaic characteristics associated with this type of sheet to include an EBIC study of the grain boundaries are described.

  17. High efficiency silicon nanowire/organic hybrid solar cells with two-step surface treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianxiong; Wang, Hao; Prakoso, Ari Bimo; Togonal, Alienor Svietlana; Hong, Lei; Jiang, Changyun; Rusli

    2015-03-14

    A simple two-step surface treatment process is proposed to boost the efficiency of silicon nanowire/PEDOT:PSS hybrid solar cells. The Si nanowires (SiNWs) are first subjected to a low temperature ozone treatment to form a surface sacrificial oxide, followed by a HF etching process to partially remove the oxide. TEM investigation demonstrates that a clean SiNW surface is achieved after the treatment, in contrast to untreated SiNWs that have Ag nanoparticles left on the surface from the metal-catalyzed etching process that is used to form the SiNWs. The cleaner SiNW surface achieved and the thin layer of residual SiO2 on the SiNWs have been found to improve the performance of the hybrid solar cells. Overall, the surface recombination of the hybrid SiNW solar cells is greatly suppressed, resulting in a remarkably improved open circuit voltage of 0.58 V. The power conversion efficiency has also increased from about 10% to 12.4%. The two-step surface treatment method is promising in enhancing the photovoltaic performance of the hybrid silicon solar cells, and can also be applied to other silicon nanostructure based solar cells. PMID:25686737

  18. High efficiency silicon nanowire/organic hybrid solar cells with two-step surface treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianxiong; Wang, Hao; Prakoso, Ari Bimo; Togonal, Alienor Svietlana; Hong, Lei; Jiang, Changyun; Rusli

    2015-03-14

    A simple two-step surface treatment process is proposed to boost the efficiency of silicon nanowire/PEDOT:PSS hybrid solar cells. The Si nanowires (SiNWs) are first subjected to a low temperature ozone treatment to form a surface sacrificial oxide, followed by a HF etching process to partially remove the oxide. TEM investigation demonstrates that a clean SiNW surface is achieved after the treatment, in contrast to untreated SiNWs that have Ag nanoparticles left on the surface from the metal-catalyzed etching process that is used to form the SiNWs. The cleaner SiNW surface achieved and the thin layer of residual SiO2 on the SiNWs have been found to improve the performance of the hybrid solar cells. Overall, the surface recombination of the hybrid SiNW solar cells is greatly suppressed, resulting in a remarkably improved open circuit voltage of 0.58 V. The power conversion efficiency has also increased from about 10% to 12.4%. The two-step surface treatment method is promising in enhancing the photovoltaic performance of the hybrid silicon solar cells, and can also be applied to other silicon nanostructure based solar cells.

  19. Evolutionary process development towards next generation crystalline silicon solar cells : a semiconductor process toolbox application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, J.; Prajapati, V.; Vermang, B.; Lorenz, A.; Allebe, C.; Rothschild, A.; Tous, L.; Uruena, A.; Baert, K.; Poortmans, J.

    2012-08-01

    Bulk crystalline Silicon solar cells are covering more than 85% of the world's roof top module installation in 2010. With a growth rate of over 30% in the last 10 years this technology remains the working horse of solar cell industry. The full Aluminum back-side field (Al BSF) technology has been developed in the 90's and provides a production learning curve on module price of constant 20% in average. The main reason for the decrease of module prices with increasing production capacity is due to the effect of up scaling industrial production. For further decreasing of the price per wattpeak silicon consumption has to be reduced and efficiency has to be improved. In this paper we describe a successive efficiency improving process development starting from the existing full Al BSF cell concept. We propose an evolutionary development includes all parts of the solar cell process: optical enhancement (texturing, polishing, anti-reflection coating), junction formation and contacting. Novel processes are benchmarked on industrial like baseline flows using high-efficiency cell concepts like i-PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell). While the full Al BSF crystalline silicon solar cell technology provides efficiencies of up to 18% (on cz-Si) in production, we are achieving up to 19.4% conversion efficiency for industrial fabricated, large area solar cells with copper based front side metallization and local Al BSF applying the semiconductor toolbox.

  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)

    Heaps, J. D.; Maciolek, R. B.; Zook, J. D.; Harrison, W. B.; Scott, M. W.; Hendrickson, G.; Wolner, H. A.; Nelson, L. D.; Schuller, T. L.; Peterson, A. A.

    1976-01-01

    The technical and economic feasibility of producing solar cell quality sheet silicon by dip-coating one surface of carbonized ceramic substrates with a thin layer of large grain polycrystalline silicon was investigated. The dip-coating methods studied were directed toward a minimum cost process with the ultimate objective of producing solar cells with a conversion efficiency of 10% or greater. The technique shows excellent promise for low cost, labor-saving, scale-up potentialities and would provide an end product of sheet silicon with a rigid and strong supportive backing. An experimental dip-coating facility was designed and constructed, several substrates were successfully dip-coated with areas as large as 25 sq cm and thicknesses of 12 micron to 250 micron. There appears to be no serious limitation on the area of a substrate that could be coated. Of the various substrate materials dip-coated, mullite appears to best satisfy the requirement of the program. An inexpensive process was developed for producing mullite in the desired geometry.

  1. Sub-50-nm self-assembled nanotextures for enhanced broadband antireflection in silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Atikur; Ashraf, Ahsan; Xin, Huolin; Tong, Xiao; Sutter, Peter; Eisaman, Matthew D.; Black, Charles T.

    2015-01-01

    Materials providing broadband light antireflection have applications as highly transparent window coatings, military camouflage, and coatings for efficiently coupling light into solar cells and out of light-emitting diodes. In this work, densely packed silicon nanotextures with feature sizes smaller than 50 nm enhance the broadband antireflection compared with that predicted by their geometry alone. A significant fraction of the nanotexture volume comprises a surface layer whose optical properties differ substantially from those of the bulk, providing the key to improved performance. The nanotexture reflectivity is quantitatively well-modelled after accounting for both its profile and changes in refractive index at the surface. We employ block copolymer self-assembly for precise and tunable nanotexture design in the range of ~10-70 nm across macroscopic solar cell areas. Implementing this efficient antireflection approach in crystalline silicon solar cells significantly betters the performance gain compared with an optimized, planar antireflection coating.

  2. Polymorphous silicon thin films produced in dusty plasmas: application to solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabarrocas, Pere Roca i.; Chaâbane, N.; Kharchenko, A. V.; Tchakarov, S.

    2004-12-01

    We summarize our current understanding of the optimization of PIN solar cells produced by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition from silane hydrogen mixtures. To increase the deposition rate, the discharge is operated under plasma conditions close to powder formation, where silicon nanocrystals contribute to the deposition of so-called polymorphous silicon thin films. We show that the increase in deposition rate can be achieved via an accurate control of the plasma parameters. However, this also results in a highly defective interface in the solar cells due to the bombardment of the P-layer by positively charged nanocrystals during the deposition of the I-layer. We show that decreasing the ion energy by increasing the total pressure or by using silane helium mixtures allows us to increase both the deposition rate and the solar cells efficiency, as required for cost effective thin film photovoltaics.

  3. Silicon materials task of the low cost solar array project, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, R. H.; Davis, J. R., Jr.; Blais, P. D.; Rohatgi, A.; Rai-Choudhury, P.; Hanes, M. H.; Mccormick, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    The object of phase 2 of this program is to investigate and define the effects of various processes, contaminants and process-contaminant interactions in the performance of terrestrial solar cells. The major effort this quarter was in the areas of crystal growth and thermal processing, comparison of impurity effects in low and high resistivity silicon, modeling the behavior of p-type ingots containing Mo, and C and, quantitative analysis of bulk lifetime and junction degradation effects in contaminated solar cells. The performance of solar cells fabricated on silicon web crystals grown from melts containing about 10 to the 18th power/cu cm of Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Ti, and V, respectively were measured. Deep level spectroscopy of metal-contaminated ingots was employed to determine the level and density of recombination centers due to Ti, V, Ni, and Cr.

  4. 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

    Ribbon to Ribbon (RTR) solar cells processed from polycrystalline feedstock showed maximum AMO efficiency of 5.6%. Solar cells from single crystalline feedstock showed slightly higher efficiency than those from polycrystalline feedstock, indicating maximum efficiency of about 6.6% with SiO AR coating. Single crystalline control cells gave 11-12% AMO efficiencies demonstrating that the poor performance of the RTR solar was due to the low quality of material itself. Dendritic web solar cells from the standard process showed maximum AMO efficiency of 9.8% while efficiency of control solar cells were around 11-12%. Web solar cells from back surface field (BSF) process indicated maximum AMO efficiency of 10.9%. Some improvement in open circuit voltage was noticed from the BSF process. Small light spot scanning experiments were carried out on the solar cells from Wacker Silso, EFG, RTR, and dendritic web ribbons. Photoresponse results provided information on localized cell performance and grain size in polycrystalline material, and agreed quite well with the cell performance data, such as efficiency, minority carrier diffusion length, and spectral response.

  5. Light-induced V{sub oc} increase and decrease in high-efficiency amorphous silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Stuckelberger, M. Riesen, Y.; Despeisse, M.; Schüttauf, J.-W.; Haug, F.-J.; Ballif, C.

    2014-09-07

    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 (V{sub oc}) increase upon light soaking for thin p-layers, but a decrease for thick p-layers. Further, the V{sub oc} 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 V{sub oc} increase—and in the intrinsic absorber layer, causing a V{sub oc} 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 V{sub oc} enhancements, and poor amorphous silicon quality on rough substrates enhances this effect.

  6. Novel Approach for Selective Emitter Formation and Front Side Metallization of Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Baomin

    2010-07-26

    In this project we will explore the possibility of forming the front side metallization and selective emitter layer for the crystalline silicon solar cells through using selective laser ablation to create contact openings on the front surface and a screen printer to make connections with conductive paste. Using this novel approach we expect to reduce the specific contact resistance of the silver gridlines by about one order of magnitude compared to the state-of-art industrial crystalline silicon solar cells to below 1 mΩ∙cm2, and use lightly doped n+ emitter layer with sheet resistance of not smaller than 100 Ω. This represents an enabling improvement on crystalline silicon solar cell performance and can increase the absolute efficiency of the solar cell by about 1%. In this scientific report we first present our result on the selective laser ablation of the nitride layer to make contact openings. Then we report our work on the solar cell fabrication by using the laser ablated contact openings with self-doping paste. Through various electrical property characterization and SIMS analysis, the factors limiting the cell performance have been discussed. While through this proof-of-concept project we could not reach the target on cell efficiency improvement, the process to fabricate 125mm full-sized silicon solar cells using laser ablation and self-doping paste has been developed, and a much better understanding of technical challenges has been achieved. Future direction to realize the potential of the new technology has been clearly defined.

  7. High Efficiency Organic/Silicon-Nanowire Hybrid Solar Cells: Significance of Strong Inversion Layer

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xuegong; Shen, Xinlei; Mu, Xinhui; Zhang, Jie; Sun, Baoquan; Zeng, Lingsheng; Yang, Lifei; Wu, Yichao; He, Hang; Yang, Deren

    2015-01-01

    Organic/silicon nanowires (SiNWs) hybrid solar cells have recently been recognized as one of potentially low-cost candidates for photovoltaic application. Here, we have controllably prepared a series of uniform silicon nanowires (SiNWs) with various diameters on silicon substrate by metal-assisted chemical etching followed by thermal oxidization, and then fabricated the organic/SiNWs hybrid solar cells with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). It is found that the reflective index of SiNWs layer for sunlight depends on the filling ratio of SiNWs. Compared to the SiNWs with the lowest reflectivity (LR-SiNWs), the solar cell based on the SiNWs with low filling ratio (LF-SiNWs) has a higher open-circuit voltage and fill factor. The capacitance-voltage measurements have clarified that the built-in potential barrier at the LF-SiNWs/PEDOT:PSS interface is much larger than that at the LR-SiNWs/PEDOT one, which yields a strong inversion layer generating near the silicon surface. The formation of inversion layer can effectively suppress the carrier recombination, reducing the leakage current of solar cell, and meanwhile transfer the LF-SiNWs/PEDOT:PSS device into a p-n junction. As a result, a highest efficiency of 13.11% is achieved for the LF-SiNWs/PEDOT:PSS solar cell. These results pave a way to the fabrication of high efficiency organic/SiNWs hybrid solar cells. PMID:26610848

  8. Analytical and experimental evaluation of joining silicon nitride to metal and silicon carbide to metal for advanced heat engine applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, S.; Selverian, J.H.; Kim, H.; O'Niel, D.; Kim, K. )

    1990-04-01

    This report summarizes the results of Phase I of Analytical and Experimental Evaluation of Joining Silicon Nitride to Metal and Silicon Carbide to Metal and Silicon Carbide to Metal for Advanced Heat Engine Applications. A general methodology was developed to optimize the joint geometry and material systems for 650 and 950{degree}C applications. Failure criteria were derived to predict the fracture of the braze and ceramic. Extensive finite element analyses (FEA), using ABAQUS code, were performed to examine various joint geometries and to evaluate the affect of different interlayers on the residual stress state. Also, material systems composed of coating materials, interlayers, and braze alloys were developed for the program based on the chemical stability and strength of the joints during processing and service. Finally, the FEA results were compared with experiments using an idealized strength relationship. The results showed that the measured strength of the joint reached 30--90% of the strength by predicted by FEA. Overall results demonstrated that FEA is an effective tool for designing the geometries of ceramic-metal joints and that joining by brazing is a relevant method for advanced heat engine applications. 33 refs., 54 figs., 36 tabs.

  9. A 12%-efficient upgraded metallurgical grade silicon-organic heterojunction solar cell achieved by a self-purifying process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Song, Tao; Shen, Xinlei; Yu, Xuegong; Lee, Shuit-Tong; Sun, Baoquan

    2014-11-25

    Low-quality silicon such as upgraded metallurgical-grade (UMG) silicon promises to reduce the material requirements for high-performance cost-effective photovoltaics. So far, however, UMG silicon currently exhibits the short diffusion length and serious charge recombination associated with high impurity levels, which hinders the performance of solar cells. Here, we used a metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) method to partially upgrade the UMG silicon surface. The silicon was etched into a nanostructured one by the MACE process, associated with removing impurities on the surface. Meanwhile, nanostructured forms of UMG silicon can benefit improved light harvesting with thin substrates, which can relax the requirement of material purity for high photovoltaic performance. In order to suppress the large surface recombination due to increased surface area of nanostructured UMG silicon, a post chemical treatment was used to decrease the surface area. A solution-processed conjugated polymer of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) was deposited on UMG silicon at low temperature (<150 °C) to form a heterojunction to avoid any impurity diffusion in the silicon substrate. By optimizing the thickness of silicon and suppressing the charge recombination at the interface between thin UMG silicon/PEDOT:PSS, we are able to achieve 12.0%-efficient organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells, which are higher than analogous UMG silicon devices. We show that the modified UMG silicon surface can increase the minority carrier lifetime because of reduced impurity and surface area. Our results suggest a design rule for an efficient silicon solar cell with low-quality silicon absorbers.

  10. In-Line Crack and Stress Detection in Silicon Solar Cells Using Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations

    SciTech Connect

    Ostapenko, Sergei

    2013-04-03

    Statement of Problem and Objectives. Wafer breakage in automated solar cell production lines is identified as a major technical problem and a barrier for further cost reduction of silicon solar module manufacturing. To the best of our knowledge, there are no commercial systems addressing critical needs for in-line inspection of the mechanical quality of solar wafers and cells. The principal objective of the SBIR program is to validate through experiments and computer modeling the applicability of the Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations system, which ultimately can be used as a real-time in-line manufacturing quality control tool for fast detection of mechanically unstable silicon solar cells caused by cracks. The specific objective of Phase II is to move the technology of in-line crack detection from the laboratory level to commercial demonstration through development of a system prototype. The fragility of silicon wafers possessing low mechanical strength is attributed to peripheral and bulk millimeter-length cracks. The research program is based on feasibility results obtained during Phase I, which established that: (i) the Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations method is applicable to as-cut, processed wafers and finished cells; (ii) the method sensitivity depends on the specific processing step; it is highest in as-cut wafers and lowest in wafers with metallization pattern and grid contacts; (iii) the system is capable of matching the 2.0 seconds per wafer throughput rate of state-of-art solar cell production lines; (iv) finite element modeling provides vibration mode analysis along with peak shift versus crack length and crack location dependence; (v) a high 91% crack rejection rate was confirmed through experimentation and statistical analysis. The Phase II project has the following specific tasks: (i) specify optimal configurations of the in-line system's component hardware and software; (ii) develop and justify a system prototype that meets major specifications for an

  11. Analysis of defect structure in silicon. Silicon sheet growth development for the large area silicon sheet task of the Low-Cost Solar array Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Natesh, R.; Mena, M.; Plichta, M.; Smith, J. M.; Sellani, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    One hundred ninety-three silicon sheet samples, approximately 880 square centimeters, were analyzed for twin boundary density, dislocation pit density, and grain boundary length. One hundred fifteen of these samples were manufactured by a heat exchanger method, thirty-eight by edge defined film fed growth, twenty-three by the silicon on ceramics process, and ten by the dendritic web process. Seven solar cells were also step-etched to determine the internal defect distribution on these samples. Procedures were developed or the quantitative characterization of structural defects such as dislocation pits, precipitates, twin & grain boundaries using a QTM 720 quantitative image analyzing system interfaced with a PDP 11/03 mini computer. Characterization of the grain boundary length per unit area for polycrystalline samples was done by using the intercept method on an Olympus HBM Microscope.

  12. Control of back surface reflectance from aluminum alloyed contacts on silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Cudzinovic, M.; Sopori, B.

    1996-05-01

    A process for forming highly reflective aluminum back contacts with low contact resistance to silicon solar cells is described. By controlling the process conditions, it is possible to vary the silicon/aluminum interface from a specular to a diffuse reflector while maintaining a high interface reflectance. The specular interface is found to be a uniform silicon/aluminum alloy layer a few angstroms thick that has epitaxially regrown on the silicon. The diffuse interface consists of randomly distributed (111) pyramids produced by crystallographic out-diffusion of the bulk silicon. The light trapping ability of the diffuse contact is found to be close to the theoretical limit. Both types of contacts are found to have specific contact resistivities of 10{sup {minus}5} {Omega}-cm{sup 2}. The process for forming the contacts involves illuminating the devices with tungsten halogen lamps. The process is rapid (under 100 s) and low temperature (peak temperature < 580{degrees}C), making it favorable for commercial solar cell fabrication.

  13. Plasma immersion ion implantation of boron for ribbon silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derbouz, K.; Michel, T.; De Moro, F.; Spiegel, Y.; Torregrosa, F.; Belouet, C.; Slaoui, A.

    2013-09-01

    In this work, we report for the first time on the solar cell fabrication on n-type silicon RST (for Ribbon on Sacrificial Template) using plasma immersion ion implantation. The experiments were also carried out on FZ silicon as a reference. Boron was implanted at energies from 10 to 15 kV and doses from 1015 to 1016 cm-2, then activated by a thermal annealing in a conventional furnace at 900 and 950 °C for 30 min. The n+ region acting as a back surface field was achieved by phosphorus spin-coating. The frontside boron emitter was passivated either by applying a 10 nm deposited SiOX plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) or with a 10 nm grown thermal oxide. The anti-reflection coating layer formed a 60 nm thick SiNX layer. We show that energies less than 15 kV and doses around 5 × 1015 cm-2 are appropriate to achieve open circuit voltage higher than 590 mV and efficiency around 16.7% on FZ-Si. The photovoltaic performances on ribbon silicon are so far limited by the bulk quality of the material and by the quality of the junction through the presence of silicon carbide precipitates at the surface. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that plasma immersion ion implantation is very promising for solar cell fabrication on ultrathin silicon wafers such as ribbons.

  14. Fabrication Characterization of Solar-Cell Silicon Wafers Using a Circular-Rhombus Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pa, Pai-Shan

    2010-01-01

    A new recycling fabrication method using a custom-built designed circular-rhombus tool for a process combining of micro-electroetching and electrochemical machining for removal of the surface layers from silicon wafers of solar cells is demonstrated. The low yields of epoxy film and Si3N4 thin-film depositions are important factors in semiconductor production. The aim of the proposed recycling fabrication method is to replace the current approach, which uses strong acid and grinding and may damage the physical structure of silicon wafers and pollute to the environment. A precisely engineered clean production approach for removal of surface microstructure layers from silicon wafers is to develop a mass production system for recycling defective or discarded silicon wafers of solar cells that can reduce pollution and cost. A large diameter cathode of the circular-rhombus tool (with a small gap between the anode and the cathode) corresponds to a high rate of epoxy film removal. A high feed rate of the silicon wafers combined with a high continuous DC electric voltage results in a high removal rate. The high rotational speed of the circular-rhombus tool increases the discharge mobility and improves the removal effect associated with the high feed rate of the workpiece. A small port radius or large end angle of the rhombus anode provides a large discharge space and good removal effect only a short period of time is required to remove the Si3N4 layer and epoxy film easily and cleanly.

  15. Annealing characteristics of irradiated hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payson, J. S.; Abdulaziz, S.; Li, Y.; Woodyard, J. R.

    1991-01-01

    It was shown that 1 MeV proton irradiation with fluences of 1.25E14 and 1.25E15/sq cm reduces the normalized I(sub SC) of a-Si:H solar cell. Solar cells recently fabricated showed superior radiation tolerance compared with cells fabricated four years ago; the improvement is probably due to the fact that the new cells are thinner and fabricated from improved materials. Room temperature annealing was observed for the first time in both new and old cells. New cells anneal at a faster rate than old cells for the same fluence. From the annealing work it is apparent that there are at least two types of defects and/or annealing mechanisms. One cell had improved I-V characteristics following irradiation as compared to the virgin cell. The work shows that the photothermal deflection spectroscopy (PDS) and annealing measurements may be used to predict the qualitative behavior of a-Si:H solar cells. It was anticipated that the modeling work will quantitatively link thin film measurements with solar cell properties. Quantitative predictions of the operation of a-Si:H solar cells in a space environment will require a knowledge of the defect creation mechanisms, defect structures, role of defects on degradation, and defect passivation and annealing mechanisms. The engineering data and knowledge base for justifying space flight testing of a-Si:H alloy based solar cells is being developed.

  16. Optical absorption enhancement with low structural-parameter sensitivity in three-dimensional silicon nanocavity array for solar photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fuqiang; Sun, Ruinan; Hu, Ya; Peng, Kui-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Effective light trapping is essential for improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of thin-film silicon solar cells. Here, we numerically study the optical characteristics of periodic three-dimensional (3D) silicon nanocavity arrays. We found that the 3D silicon nanocavity array shows low sensitivity to geometric structural parameters for photon capture and achieves an outstanding efficiency superior to those of previously reported silicon nanostructures such as a nanowire and a nanohole with the same thickness. This excellence is attributed to a better antireflection capability and more resonant modes. The 3D silicon nanocavity array provides a new light-trapping strategy for thin-film photovoltaic devices.

  17. Recent Advances in Solar Sail Propulsion at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Young, Roy M.; Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2006-01-01

    Supporting NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is developing solar sail propulsion for use in robotic science and exploration of the solar system. Solar sail propulsion will provide longer on-station operation, increased scientific payload mass fraction, and access to previously inaccessible orbits for multiple potential science missions. Two different 20-meter solar sail systems were produced and successfully completed functional vacuum testing last year in NASA Glenn's Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station, Ohio. The sails were designed and developed by ATK Space Systems and L'Garde, respectively. These sail systems consist of a central structure with four deployable booms that support the sails. This sail designs are robust enough for deployments in a one atmosphere, one gravity environment, and are scalable to much larger solar sails-perhaps as much as 150 meters on a side. In addition, computation modeling and analytical simulations have been performed to assess the scalability of the technology to the large sizes (>150 meters) required for first generation solar sails missions. Life and space environmental effects testing of sail and component materials are also nearly complete. This paper will summarize recent technology advancements in solar sails and their successful ambient and vacuum testing.

  18. Recent Advances in Solar Sail Propulsion Systems at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2006-01-01

    Supporting NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is developing solar sail propulsion for use in robotic science and exploration of the solar system. Solar sail propulsion has the potential to provide longer on-station operation, increased scientific payload mass fraction, and access to previously inaccessible orbits for multiple potential science missions. Two different 20-meter solar sail systems were produced and successfully completed functional vacuum testing last year in NASA Glenn s Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station Ohio. The sails were designed and developed by ATK Space Systems and L'Garde, respectively. The sail systems consist of a central structure with four deployable booms that support the sails. The sail designs are robust enough for deployments in a one atmosphere, one gravity environment and are scalable to much larger solar sails - perhaps as large as 150 meters on a side. In addition, computational modeling and analytical simulations have been performed to assess the scalability of the technology to the large sizes (150 meters) required to implement the first generation of missions using solar sails. Life and space environmental effects testing of sail and component materials are also nearly complete. This paper will summarize recent technology advancements in solar sails and their successful ambient and vacuum environment testing.

  19. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindmayer, J.; Wrigley, C. Y.

    1977-01-01

    A key to the success of this program was the breakthrough development of a technology for producing ultra-thin silicon slices which are very flexible, resilient, and tolerant of moderate handling abuse. Experimental topics investigated were thinning technology, gaseous junction diffusion, aluminum back alloying, internal reflectance, tantalum oxide anti-reflective coating optimization, slice flexibility, handling techniques, production rate limiting steps, low temperature behavior, and radiation tolerance.

  20. Development of a high efficiency thin silicon solar cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Storti, G.; Culik, J.; Wrigley, C.

    1980-01-01

    Significant improvements in open-circuit voltage and conversion efficiency, even on relatively high bulk resistivity silicon, were achieved by using a screen-printed aluminum paste back surface field. A 4 sq cm 50 micron m thick cell was fabricated from textured 10 omega-cm silicon which had an open-circuit voltage of 595 mV and AMO conversion efficiency at 25 C of 14.3%. The best 4 sq cm 50 micron thick cell (2 omega-cm silicon) produced had an open-circuit voltage of 607 mV and an AMO conversion efficiency of 15%. Processing modifications are described which resulted in better front contact integrity and reduced breakage. These modifications were utilized in the thin cell pilot line to fabricate 4 sq cm cells with an average AMO conversion efficiency at 25 C of better than 12.5% and with lot yields as great as 51% of starts; a production rate of 10,000 cells per month was demonstrated. A pilot line was operated which produced large area (25 cm) ultra-thin cells with an average AMO conversion efficiency at 25 deg of better than 11.5% and a lot yield as high as 17%.