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Title: Electrodeposition of gallium for photovoltaics

Abstract

An electroplating solution and method for producing an electroplating solution containing a gallium salt, an ionic compound and a solvent that results in a gallium thin film that can be deposited on a substrate.

Inventors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1289618
Patent Number(s):
9,410,259
Application Number:
14/240,679
Assignee:
Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Golden, CO) NREL
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2012 Sep 04
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Bhattacharya, Raghu N. Electrodeposition of gallium for photovoltaics. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Bhattacharya, Raghu N. Electrodeposition of gallium for photovoltaics. United States.
Bhattacharya, Raghu N. 2016. "Electrodeposition of gallium for photovoltaics". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1289618.
@article{osti_1289618,
title = {Electrodeposition of gallium for photovoltaics},
author = {Bhattacharya, Raghu N.},
abstractNote = {An electroplating solution and method for producing an electroplating solution containing a gallium salt, an ionic compound and a solvent that results in a gallium thin film that can be deposited on a substrate.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Patent:

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  • A photovoltaic cell exhibiting an overall conversion efficiency of 13.6% is prepared from a copper-indium-gallium-diselenide precursor thin film. The film is fabricated by first simultaneously electrodepositing copper, indium, gallium, and selenium onto a glass/molybdenum substrate (12/14). The electrodeposition voltage is a high frequency AC voltage superimposed upon a DC voltage to improve the morphology and growth rate of the film. The electrodeposition is followed by physical vapor deposition to adjust the final stoichiometry of the thin film to approximately Cu(In.sub.1-n Ga.sub.x)Se.sub.2, with the ratio of Ga/(In+Ga) being approximately 0.39.
  • Photovoltaic structures are disclosed. The structures can comprise randomly or periodically structured layers, a dielectric layer to reduce back diffusion of charge carriers, and a metallic layer to reflect photons back towards the absorbing semiconductor layers. This design can increase efficiency of photovoltaic structures. The structures can be fabricated by nanoimprint.
  • The modeled cascade cells offer an alternative to conventional series cascade designs that require a monolithic intercell ohmic contact. Selective electrodes provide a simple means of fabricating three-terminal devices, which can be configured in complementary pairs to circumvent the attendant losses and fabrication complexities of intercell ohmic contacts. Moreover, selective electrodes allow incorporation of additional layers in the upper subcell which can improve spectral response and increase radiation tolerance. Realistic simulations of such cells operating under one-sun AMO conditions show that the seven-layer structure is optimum from the standpoint of beginning-of-life efficiency and radiation tolerance. Projected efficiencies exceed 26 percent.more » Under higher concentration factors, it should be possible to achieve efficiencies beyond 30 percent. However, to simulate operation at high concentration will require a model for resistive losses. Overall, these devices appear to be a promising contender for future space applications.« less
  • The method of dissociating gallium arsenide into a gallium-containing component and an arsenic-containing component, is described which comprises contacting the gallium arsenide with an oxidizing agent and a liquid comprising hydroxamic acid to convert the gallium to a gallium-hydroxamic acid complex and to oxidize the arsenic to a positive valence state.
  • Purified plutonium and gallium are efficiently recovered from a solid plutonium-gallium (Pu-Ga) alloy by using an electrorefining process. The solid Pu-Ga alloy is the cell anode, preferably placed in a moving basket within the electrolyte. As the surface of the Pu-Ga anode is depleted in plutonium by the electrotransport of the plutonium to a cathode, the temperature of the electrolyte is sufficient to liquify the surface, preferably at about 500 C, resulting in a liquid anode layer substantially comprised of gallium. The gallium drips from the liquified surface and is collected below the anode within the electrochemical cell. The transportedmore » plutonium is collected on the cathode surface and is recovered.« less