skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Opportunities for Improving Photovoltaic Performance with Better Transparent Contacts

NREL and DOE recently held a workshop to assess the challenges, opportunities and potential impacts for improved transparent contacts (TCs) to positively impact current and emerging photovoltaic conversion technologies. Here, we report on the workshop outcomes based on the collective input and participation from industry, academia, national laboratories and DOE. A primary conclusion is that new emerging materials can have significant impacts on the overall performance, reliability and cost for commercial scale PV. One key observation is that TC's should no longer be thought of as a single-layer single-purpose material but as an integrated contact layer stack that includes a charge selective interface layer, a conducting layer and sometimes layers for reliability or light management. In addition, the long standing goal of developing of high performance atmospheric-pressure-processed TCs has finally been met by the rapidly improving Ag nanowire based composites with better than ITO performance from an all ink based process. Even the more conventional metal oxide materials are improving rapidly by introducing solution processed buffer layers, and even conductor layers. This rapid evolution has opened the way to high-throughput low-cost TC processing. Key desired metrics for TCs and approaches to achieving them are discussed.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana; Related Information: Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana
Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE transparent conducting oxide; TCO; transparent conductors; photovoltaic cells; contacts