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Title: Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration

Abstract

We demonstrate through precise numerical simulations the possibility of flexible, thin-film solar cells, consisting of crystalline silicon, to achieve power conversion efficiency of 31%. Our optimized photonic crystal architecture consists of a 15 μm thick cell patterned with inverted micro-pyramids with lattice spacing comparable to the wavelength of near-infrared light, enabling strong wave-interference based light trapping and absorption. Unlike previous photonic crystal designs, photogenerated charge carrier flow is guided to a grid of interdigitated back contacts with optimized geometry to minimize Auger recombination losses due to lateral current flow. Front and back surface fields provided by optimized Gaussian doping profiles are shown to play a vital role in enhancing surface passivation. We carefully delineate the drop in power conversion efficiency when surface recombination velocities exceed 100 cm/s and the doping profiles deviate from prescribed values. These results are obtained by exact numerical simulation of Maxwell’s wave equations for light propagation throughout the cell architecture and a state-of-the-art model for charge carrier transport and Auger recombination.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Toronto, ON (Canada). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
OSTI Identifier:
1609764
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-06ER46347
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Bhattacharya, Sayak, and John, Sajeev. Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48981-w.
Bhattacharya, Sayak, & John, Sajeev. Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48981-w
Bhattacharya, Sayak, and John, Sajeev. Wed . "Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48981-w. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1609764.
@article{osti_1609764,
title = {Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration},
author = {Bhattacharya, Sayak and John, Sajeev},
abstractNote = {We demonstrate through precise numerical simulations the possibility of flexible, thin-film solar cells, consisting of crystalline silicon, to achieve power conversion efficiency of 31%. Our optimized photonic crystal architecture consists of a 15 μm thick cell patterned with inverted micro-pyramids with lattice spacing comparable to the wavelength of near-infrared light, enabling strong wave-interference based light trapping and absorption. Unlike previous photonic crystal designs, photogenerated charge carrier flow is guided to a grid of interdigitated back contacts with optimized geometry to minimize Auger recombination losses due to lateral current flow. Front and back surface fields provided by optimized Gaussian doping profiles are shown to play a vital role in enhancing surface passivation. We carefully delineate the drop in power conversion efficiency when surface recombination velocities exceed 100 cm/s and the doping profiles deviate from prescribed values. These results are obtained by exact numerical simulation of Maxwell’s wave equations for light propagation throughout the cell architecture and a state-of-the-art model for charge carrier transport and Auger recombination.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-48981-w},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

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