Matching Items (25)

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Novel Applications to Si Heterojunction Solar Cells

Description

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the contacts. If there were a shortage of Indium, Yttrium Zinc Oxide could be substituted. To improve the solar cell, the p and n type layers can be grown with hydrogenated nanocrystallline Silicon (nc-Si:H). 40% and 50% nc-Si:H has shown a maximum absorbance reduction of 5 times compared to hydrogenated amorphous Silicon (a-Si). The substitutions offer alternatives which increase the total possible amount of solar cell production, advancing toward completion of the Terrawatt challenge.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Balance of System Cost Analysis to Investigate Future Economic Competitiveness of Tandem Solar Cells

Description

As single junction silicon based solar cells approach their Shockley\u2014Queasier (SQ) conversion efficiency limits, tandem solar cells (TSC) provide an attractive prospect for higher efficiency cells. Although TSCs have been

As single junction silicon based solar cells approach their Shockley\u2014Queasier (SQ) conversion efficiency limits, tandem solar cells (TSC) provide an attractive prospect for higher efficiency cells. Although TSCs have been shown to be more efficient, their higher fabrication costs are a limiting factor for their economic competitiveness and large-scale integration in PV power systems. Current literature suggests that even with reduced costs of fabrication in the future, TSCs still offer no competitive benefit for integration in utility-scale systems and may yield minimal benefits only in places where area-related costs are high. This work investigates Balance of Systems (BoS) circumstances under which TSCs can attain economic viability in scenarios where the necessary technological advances are made to increase the efficiency of solar cells beyond the SQ limit.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Multi-Layer Optical Coatings Composed of Silicon Nanoparticles

Description

To compete with fossil fuel electricity generation, there is a need for higher efficiency solar cells to produce renewable energy. Currently, this is the best way to lower generation costs

To compete with fossil fuel electricity generation, there is a need for higher efficiency solar cells to produce renewable energy. Currently, this is the best way to lower generation costs and the price of energy [1]. The goal of this Barrett Honors Thesis is to design an optical coating model that has five or fewer layers (with varying thickness and refractive index, within the above range) and that has the maximum reflectance possible between 950 and 1200 nanometers for normally incident light. Manipulating silicon monolayers to become efficient inversion layers to use in solar cells aligns with the Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering research themes of energy and sustainability [2]. Silicon monolayers could be specifically designed for different doping substrates. These substrates could range from common-used materials such as boron and phosphorus, to rare-earth doped zinc oxides or even fullerene blends. Exploring how the doping material, and in what quantity, affects solar cell energy output could revolutionize the current production methods and commercial market. If solar cells can be manufactured more economically, yet still retain high efficiency rates, then more people will have access to alternate, "green" energy that does not deplete nonrenewable resources.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Optical Characterization of Silver-Doped Germanium-Chalcogenide Thin Films

Description

The purpose of this research is to optically characterize germanium-based chalcogenide thin films and evaluate how their properties change when the composition is altered. The composition changes based on if

The purpose of this research is to optically characterize germanium-based chalcogenide thin films and evaluate how their properties change when the composition is altered. The composition changes based on if the chalcogenide contains selenium or sulfur, if the film is 60 nanometers or 200 nanometers, and if the film is doped with silver (ranging from 0 nanometers to 30 nanometers). These amorphous germanium-chalcogenide thin films exhibit interesting properties when doped with silver, such as transporting ions within the film in addition to electron transport. Using optical characterization techniques such as UV-Vis spectroscopy, profilometry, and ellipsometry, parameters that describe the optical characteristics are found, including the absorption coefficient, refractive index, optical band gap energy, and information on the density of states. This research concludes that as silver content within the film increases, the optical bandgap energy decreases—this is a consistent trend in existing literature. Having a better understanding of the materials’ physical properties will be useful to aid in the creation of microsystems based on these materials by selecting optimal composition and growth conditions. Important applications using these materials are currently being researched, including variable capacitor devices relying on the ionic conductor behavior these materials display. The optical properties like the absorption coefficient and the optical bandgap energy are invaluable in designing these applications effectively.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Dry Aerosol Impaction of Mesoporous Silica Aerogels

Description

Aerogels are among the best known thermally insulating materials due their high porosities (>90%). This, in conjunction with their high transparency make them ideal candidates for highly insulating window coatings.

Aerogels are among the best known thermally insulating materials due their high porosities (>90%). This, in conjunction with their high transparency make them ideal candidates for highly insulating window coatings. However, current state of the art techniques involve time-consuming drying steps and poor mechanical robustness, severely limiting their wide-scale adaptation. By using a dry aerosol impaction process, synthesizing nanoparticles in a plasma, upstream of a slit-shaped nozzle and impacting these particles onto a substrate below, a novel way for producing mesoporous silica aerogels is shown. This removes the need for solution-based processing, improving the potential for high throughput. Thick (~100um), 90% mesoporous silica has been characterized showing low effective thermal conductivity (~0.02 W/mK) and high transparency (>90%). The morphology of these coatings were analyzed showing tight pore distributions. Film adhesion and stress have shown themselves to be major hurdles during the development of these coatings and will be the focus of future work.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Electrical and Optical Characterization of Wide Band Gap Materials in the Zinc and Tin Oxynitride Family

Description

The investigation into wide band gap semiconductors for use in tandem solar cells has become an increasingly more researched area with many new absorbers outlining the landscape. Pairing silicon with

The investigation into wide band gap semiconductors for use in tandem solar cells has become an increasingly more researched area with many new absorbers outlining the landscape. Pairing silicon with another cheap wide band gap semiconductor absorber can generate more efficient solar cell, which could continue to drive up the energy output from solar. One such recently researched wide band gap absorber is ZnSnN2. ZnSnN2 proves too difficult to form under most conditions, but has the necessary band gap to make it a potential earth abundant solar absorber. The deposition process for ZnSnN2 is usually conducted with Zn and Sn metal targets while flowing N2 gas. Due to restrictions with chamber depositions, instead ZnO and SnO2 targets were sputtered with N2 gas to attempt to form separate zinc and tin oxynitrides as an initial single target study prior to future combinatorial studies. The electrical and optical properties and crystal structure of these thin films were analyzed to determine the nitrogen incorporation in the thin films through X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis spectrophotometry, and 4-point probe measurements. The SnO2 thin films showed a clear response in the absorption coefficient leading but showed no observable XRD peak shift. Thus, it is unlikely that substantial amounts of nitrogen were incorporated into SnO¬2. ZnO showed a clear response increase in conductivity with N2 with an additional shift in the XRD peak at 300 °C and potential secondary phase peak. Nitrogen incorporation was achieved with fair amounts of certainty for the ZnO thin films.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Large area ultrapassivated silicon solar cells using heterojunction carrier collectors

Description

Silicon solar cells with heterojunction carrier collectors based on a-Si/c-Si heterojunction (SHJ) have a potential to overcome the limitations of the conventional diffused junction solar cells and become the next

Silicon solar cells with heterojunction carrier collectors based on a-Si/c-Si heterojunction (SHJ) have a potential to overcome the limitations of the conventional diffused junction solar cells and become the next industry standard manufacturing technology of solar cells. A brand feature of SHJ technology is ultrapassivated surfaces with already demonstrated 750 mV open circuit voltages (Voc) and 24.7% efficiency on large area solar cell. Despite very good results achieved in research and development, large volume manufacturing of high efficiency SHJ cells remains a fundamental challenge. The main objectives of this work were to develop a SHJ solar cell fabrication flow using industry compatible tools and processes in a pilot production environment, study the interactions between the used fabrication steps, identify the minimum set of optimization parameters and characterization techniques needed to achieve 20% baseline efficiency, and analyze the losses of power in fabricated SHJ cells by numerical and analytical modeling. This manuscript presents a detailed description of a SHJ solar cell fabrication flow developed at ASU Solar Power Laboratory (SPL) which allows large area solar cells with >750 mV Voc. SHJ cells on 135 um thick 153 cm2 area wafers with 19.5% efficiency were fabricated. Passivation quality of (i)a-Si:H film, bulk conductivity of doped a-Si films, bulk conductivity of ITO, transmission of ITO and the thickness of all films were identified as the minimum set of optimization parameters necessary to set up a baseline high efficiency SHJ fabrication flow. The preparation of randomly textured wafers to minimize the concentration of surface impurities and to avoid epitaxial growth of a-Si films was found to be a key challenge in achieving a repeatable and uniform passivation. This work resolved this issue by using a multi-step cleaning process based on sequential oxidation in nitric/acetic acids, Piranha and RCA-b solutions. The developed process allowed state of the art surface passivation with perfect repeatability and negligible reflectance losses. Two additional studies demonstrated 750 mV local Voc on 50 micron thick SHJ solar cell and < 1 cm/s effective surface recombination velocity on n-type wafers passivated by a-Si/SiO2/SiNx stack.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Temperature dependent qualities of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide passivating stacks

Description

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of various materials. The minority carrier lifetime, optical band gap and FTIR spectra were observed at incremental stages of thermal annealing. By observing the changes in the lifetimes the sample structure responsible for the most thermally robust surface passivation could be determined. These results were correlated to the optical band gap and the position and relative area of peaks in the FTIR spectra related to to silicon-hydrogen bonds in the layers. It was found that due to an increased presence of hydrogen bonded to silicon at voids within the passivating layer, hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide at the interface of the substrate coupled with a hydrogenated amorphous silicon top layer provides better passivation after high temperature annealing than other device structures.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Amorphous Silicon Contacts for Silicon and Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells

Description

Achieving high efficiency in solar cells requires optimal photovoltaics materials for light absorption and as with any electrical device—high-quality contacts. Essentially, the contacts separate the charge carriers—holes at one terminal

Achieving high efficiency in solar cells requires optimal photovoltaics materials for light absorption and as with any electrical device—high-quality contacts. Essentially, the contacts separate the charge carriers—holes at one terminal and electrons at the other—extracting them to an external circuit. For this purpose, the development of passivating and carrier-selective contacts that enable low interface defect density and efficient carrier transport is critical for making high-efficiency solar cells. The recent record-efficiency n-type silicon cells with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) contacts have demonstrated the usefulness of passivating and carrier-selective contacts. However, the use of a-Si:H contacts should not be limited in just n-type silicon cells.

In the present work, a-Si:H contacts for crystalline silicon and cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells are developed. First, hydrogen-plasma-processsed a-Si:H contacts are used in n-type Czochralski silicon cell fabrication. Hydrogen plasma treatment is used to increase the Si-H bond density of a-Si:H films and decrease the dangling bond density at the interface, which leads to better interface passivation and device performance, and wider temperature-processing window of n-type silicon cells under full spectrum (300–1200 nm) illumination. In addition, thickness-varied a-Si:H contacts are studied for n-type silicon cells under the infrared spectrum (700–1200 nm) illumination, which are prepared for silicon-based tandem applications.

Second, the a-Si:H contacts are applied to commercial-grade p-type silicon cells, which have much lower bulk carrier lifetimes than the n-type silicon cells. The approach is using gettering and bulk hydrogenation to improve the p-type silicon bulk quality, and then applying a-Si:H contacts to enable excellent surface passivation and carrier transport. This leads to an open-circuit voltage of 707 mV in p-type Czochralski silicon cells, and of 702 mV, the world-record open-circuit voltage in p-type multi-crystalline silicon cells.

Finally, CdTe cells with p-type a-Si:H hole-selective contacts are studied. As a proof of concept, p-type a-Si:H contacts enable achieving the highest reported open-circuit voltages (1.1 V) in mono-crystalline CdTe devices. A comparative study of applying p-type a-Si:H contacts in poly-crystalline CdTe solar cells is performed, resulting in absolute voltage gain of 53 mV over using the standard tellurium contacts.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Investigation into a laser welded interconnection method for Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell modules

Description

Interconnection methods for IBC photovoltaic (PV) module integration have widely been explored yet a concrete and cost-effective solution has yet to be found. Traditional methods of tabbing and stringing which

Interconnection methods for IBC photovoltaic (PV) module integration have widely been explored yet a concrete and cost-effective solution has yet to be found. Traditional methods of tabbing and stringing which are still being used today impart increased stress on the cells, not to mention the high temperatures induced during the soldering process as well. In this work and effective and economical interconnection method is demonstrated, by laser welding an embossed aluminum (Al) electrode layer to screen-printed silver (Ag) on the solar cell. Contact resistivity below 1mΩ.cm2 is measured with the proposed design. Cross-sectional analysis of interfaces is conducted via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDXS) methods. Typical laser weld phenomenon observed involves Al ejection at the entrance of the weld, followed by Al and Ag fusing together mid-way through the weld spot, as revealed by cross-sectional depth analysis. The effects of voltage and lamp intensity are also tested on the welding process. With the range of voltages tested, 240V seems to show the least process variability and the most uniform contact between Al and Ag layers, upon using an Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) encapsulant. Two lamp intensities were also explored with a Polyolefin (POE) encapsulant with Al and Ag layers seen welded together as well. Smaller effect sizes at lamp 2 intensity showed better contact. A process variability analysis was conducted to understand the effects of the two different lamps on welds being formed. Lamp 2 showed a bi-modal size distribution with a higher peak intensity, with more pulses coupling into the sample, as compared to lamp 1.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019