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Title: Metal nano-grids for transparent conduction in solar cells

A general procedure for predicting metal grid performance in solar cells was developed. Unlike transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) or other homogeneous films, metal grids induce more resistance in the neighbor layer. The resulting balance of transmittance, neighbor and grid resistance was explored in light of cheap lithography advances that have enabled metal nano-grid (MNG) fabrication. The patterned MNGs have junction resistances and degradation rates that are more favorable than solution-synthesized metal nanowires. Neighbor series resistance was simulated by the finite element method, although a simpler analytical model was sufficient in most cases. Finite-difference frequency-domain transmittance simulations were performed for MNGs with minimum wire width (w) of 50 nm, but deviations from aperture transmittance were small in magnitude. Depending on the process, MNGs can exhibit increased series resistance as w is decreased. However, numerous experimental reports have already achieved transmittance-MNG sheet resistance trade-offs comparable to TCOs. The transmittance, neighbor and MNG series resistances were used to parameterize a grid fill factor for a solar cell. In conclusion, this new figure of merit was used to demonstrate that although MNGs have only been employed in low efficiency solar cells, substantial gains in performance are predicted for decreased w in all high efficiencymore » absorber technologies.« less
  1. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 169; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; transparent conduction; metal grid; metal nano-grid; transparent conducting oxide; series resistance; transmittance
OSTI Identifier: