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Title: Trade-off between Photon Management Efficacy and Material Quality in Thin-Film Solar Cells on Nanostructured Substrates of High Aspect Ratio Structures

Although texturing of the transparent electrode of thin-film solar cells has long been used to enhance light absorption via light trapping, such texturing has involved low aspect ratio features. With the recent development of nanotechnology, nanostructured substrates enable improved light trapping and enhanced optical absorption via resonances, a process known as photon management, in thin-film solar cells. Despite the progress made in the development of photon management in thin-film solar cells using nanostructures substrates, the structural integrity of the thin-film solar cells deposited onto such nanostructured substrates is rarely considered. Here, we report the observation of the reduction in the open circuit voltage of amorphous silicon solar cells deposited onto a nanostructured substrate with increasing areal number density of high aspect ratio structures. For a nanostructured substrate with the areal number density of such nanostructures increasing in correlation with the distance from one edge of the substrate, a correlation between the open circuit voltage reduction and the increase of the areal number density of high aspect ratio nanostructures of the front electrode of the small-size amorphous silicon solar cells deposited onto different regions of the substrate with graded nanostructure density indicates the effect of the surface morphology on the materialmore » quality, i.e., a trade-off between photon management efficacy and material quality. Lastly, this observed trade-off highlights the importance of optimizing the morphology of the nanostructured substrate to ensure conformal deposition of the thin-film solar cell.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. nLiten Energy Corporation, Mountain View, CA (United States); Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
  2. nLiten Energy Corporation, Mountain View, CA (United States); Natron Energy, Santa Clara, CA (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Jinko Solar, San Francisco, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2076-3417; ASPCC7
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2076-3417
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; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; solar cells; photon management; nanostructured substrate; photovoltaics
OSTI Identifier: