Clean Technology 2009

Self-Assembled Nanoparticles Doped Si-Based Thin Film Solar Cells

Y. Li, H. Wang
Texas A&M University, US

Keywords: thin film solar cells, nanoparticle-doped, silicon-based solar cell


Silicon based solar cells are the most popular and well developed ones among all the solar cells. This is because Si has abundant resources on the earth and Si technologies are well developed through the last several decades. However the energy efficiency of Si-based solar cells has a theoretical limit of 30%. Recently several reports on high efficiency carrier multiplication in nanocrystals (quantum dots) have shown that the nanocomposite approach could improve the solar energy efficiency dramatically. We propose a new approach to process high efficiency Si-based thin film solar cells doped with self-assembled infrared-active nanoparticles. The impact of this research are: (1) The new architecture using infrared-active nanoparticle dopings in thin film Si solar cells could improve the energy efficiency of Si solar cells significantly; this technology could lead into a breakthrough in Si solar cell technology which has been developed in the last decade; (2) The unique nanoparticle doping processing can be easily adapted into thin film Si processing. The processing routes developed in this research can be directly applied in industrial fabrications of solar cells through conventional PECVD, RTP and Etching processes.
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