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Title: Nanocluster production for solar cell applications

This research focuses on the fabrication and characterization of silver (Ag) and silicon (Si) nanoclusters that might be used for solar cell applications. Silver and silicon nanoclusters have been synthesized by means of dc magnetron sputtering and inert gas condensation inside an ultra-high vacuum compatible system. We have found that nanocluster size distributions can be tuned by various source parameters, such as the sputtering discharge power, flow rate of argon inert gas, and aggregation length. Quadrupole mass filter and transmission electron microscopy were used to evaluate the size distribution of Ag and Si nanoclusters. Ag nanoclusters with average size in the range of 3.6–8.3 nm were synthesized (herein size refers to the nanocluster diameter), whereas Si nanoclusters' average size was controlled to range between 2.9 and 7.4 nm by controlling the source parameters. This work illustrates the ability of controlling the Si and Ag nanoclusters' sizes by proper optimization of the operation conditions. By controlling nanoclusters' sizes, one can alter their surface properties to suit the need to enhance solar cell efficiency. Herein, Ag nanoclusters were deposited on commercial polycrystalline solar cells. Short circuit current (I{sub SC}), open circuit voltage (V{sub OC}), fill factor, and efficiency (η) were obtained undermore » light source with an intensity of 30 mW/cm{sup 2}. A 22.7% enhancement in solar cell efficiency could be measured after deposition of Ag nanoclusters, which demonstrates that Ag nanoclusters generated in this work are useful to enhance solar cell efficiency.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, United Arab Emirates University, P. O. Box 15551, Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218251
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ARGON; DEPOSITION; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; FILL FACTORS; FLOW RATE; LIGHT SOURCES; MAGNETRONS; NANOSTRUCTURES; OPTIMIZATION; POLYCRYSTALS; SILICON; SILVER; SOLAR CELLS; SPUTTERING; SURFACE PROPERTIES; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY