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Title: Black silicon: fabrication methods, properties and solar energy applications

Abstract

Black silicon (BSi) represents a very active research area in renewable energy materials. The rise of BSi as a focus of study for its fundamental properties and potentially lucrative practical applications is shown by several recent results ranging from solar cells and light-emitting devices to antibacterial coatings and gas-sensors. Here in this article, the common BSi fabrication techniques are first reviewed, including electrochemical HF etching, stain etching, metal-assisted chemical etching, reactive ion etching, laser irradiation and the molten salt Fray-Farthing-Chen-Cambridge (FFC-Cambridge) process. The utilization of BSi as an anti-reflection coating in solar cells is then critically examined and appraised, based upon strategies towards higher efficiency renewable solar energy modules. Methods of incorporating BSi in advanced solar cell architectures and the production of ultra-thin and flexible BSi wafers are also surveyed. Particular attention is given to routes leading to passivated BSi surfaces, which are essential for improving the electrical properties of any devices incorporating BSi, with a special focus on atomic layer deposition of Al 2O 3. Finally, three potential research directions worth exploring for practical solar cell applications are highlighted, namely, encapsulation effects, the development of micro-nano dual-scale BSi, and the incorporation of BSi into thin solar cells. It ismore » intended that this paper will serve as a useful introduction to this novel material and its properties, and provide a general overview of recent progress in research currently being undertaken for renewable energy applications.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Cavendish Lab., Dept. of Physics; National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore). Solar Energy Research Inst. of Singapore (SERIS)
  2. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Dept. of Materials Science and Metallurgy
  3. National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore). Solar Energy Research Inst. of Singapore (SERIS)
  4. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Cavendish Lab., Dept. of Physics; Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom); National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National University of Singapore (NUS); Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB); Fulbright Commission
OSTI Identifier:
1396263
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Liu, Xiaogang, Coxon, Paul R., Peters, Marius, Hoex, Bram, Cole, Jacqueline M., and Fray, Derek J.. Black silicon: fabrication methods, properties and solar energy applications. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1039/C4EE01152J.
Liu, Xiaogang, Coxon, Paul R., Peters, Marius, Hoex, Bram, Cole, Jacqueline M., & Fray, Derek J.. Black silicon: fabrication methods, properties and solar energy applications. United States. doi:10.1039/C4EE01152J.
Liu, Xiaogang, Coxon, Paul R., Peters, Marius, Hoex, Bram, Cole, Jacqueline M., and Fray, Derek J.. Mon . "Black silicon: fabrication methods, properties and solar energy applications". United States. doi:10.1039/C4EE01152J. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1396263.
@article{osti_1396263,
title = {Black silicon: fabrication methods, properties and solar energy applications},
author = {Liu, Xiaogang and Coxon, Paul R. and Peters, Marius and Hoex, Bram and Cole, Jacqueline M. and Fray, Derek J.},
abstractNote = {Black silicon (BSi) represents a very active research area in renewable energy materials. The rise of BSi as a focus of study for its fundamental properties and potentially lucrative practical applications is shown by several recent results ranging from solar cells and light-emitting devices to antibacterial coatings and gas-sensors. Here in this article, the common BSi fabrication techniques are first reviewed, including electrochemical HF etching, stain etching, metal-assisted chemical etching, reactive ion etching, laser irradiation and the molten salt Fray-Farthing-Chen-Cambridge (FFC-Cambridge) process. The utilization of BSi as an anti-reflection coating in solar cells is then critically examined and appraised, based upon strategies towards higher efficiency renewable solar energy modules. Methods of incorporating BSi in advanced solar cell architectures and the production of ultra-thin and flexible BSi wafers are also surveyed. Particular attention is given to routes leading to passivated BSi surfaces, which are essential for improving the electrical properties of any devices incorporating BSi, with a special focus on atomic layer deposition of Al2O3. Finally, three potential research directions worth exploring for practical solar cell applications are highlighted, namely, encapsulation effects, the development of micro-nano dual-scale BSi, and the incorporation of BSi into thin solar cells. It is intended that this paper will serve as a useful introduction to this novel material and its properties, and provide a general overview of recent progress in research currently being undertaken for renewable energy applications.},
doi = {10.1039/C4EE01152J},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 10,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 04 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Aug 04 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

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Cited by: 126 works
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