Navigation Links
'Swiss cheese' design enables thin film silicon solar cells with potential for higher efficiencies

College Park, Md. (May 6, 2011) A bold new design for thin film solar cells that requires significantly less silicon and may boost their efficiency is the result of an industry/academia collaboration between Oerlikon Solar in Switzerland and the Institute of Physics' photovoltaic group at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

One long-term option for low-cost, high-yield industrial production of solar panels from abundant raw materials can be found in amorphous silicon solar cells and microcrystalline silicon tandem cells (a.k.a. Micromorph)providing an energy payback within a year.

A drawback to these cells, however, is that the stable panel efficiency is less than the efficiency of presently dominate crystalline wafer-based silicon, explains Milan Vanecek, who heads the photovoltaic group at the Institute of Physics in Prague.

"To make amorphous and microcrystalline silicon cells more stable they're required to be very thin because of tight spacing between electrical contacts, and the resulting optical absorption isn't sufficient," he notes. "They're basically planar devices. Amorphous silicon has a thickness of 200 to 300 nanometers, while microcrystalline silicon is thicker than 1 micrometer."

The team's new design focuses on optically thick cells that are strongly absorbing, while the distance between the electrodes remains very tight. They describe their design in the American Institute of Physics' journal Applied Physics Letters.

"Our new 3D design of solar cells relies on the mature, robust absorber deposition technology of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, which is a technology already used for amorphous silicon-based electronics produced for liquid crystal displays. We just added a new nanostructured substrate for the deposition of the solar cell," Vanecek says.

This nanostructured substrate consists of an array of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanocolumns or, alternatively, from a "Swiss cheese" honeycomb array of micro-holes or nano-holes etched into the transparent conductive oxide layer (ZnO) (See Figure).

"This latter approach proved successful for solar cell deposition," Vanecek elaborates. "The potential of these efficiencies is estimated within the range of present multicrystalline wafer solar cells, which dominate solar cell industrial production. And the significantly lower cost of Micromorph panels, with the same panel efficiency as multicrystalline silicon panels (12 to 16 percent), could boost its industrial-scale production."

The next step is a further optimization to continue improving efficiency.


Contact: Charles E. Blue
American Institute of Physics

Related biology technology :

1. A Swiss Team Uses Transcranial MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound to Treat Patients With Functional Brain Disorders
2. Jina Ventures Advises Swiss Pharma Contract on Strategic Sale to Covance Inc
3. Covance Increases Early Clinical Footprint in Europe with Acquisition of Swiss-Based Early Clinical Development Site
4. 25 Short Films About Top-Level Research on
5. Open-source software designed to minimize synthetic biology risks
6. New Biomarkers Study Could Lead to Better Malaria Vaccine Design
7. Perceptive Informatics Global Survey Results Show Growing Industry Interest in Implementing Adaptive Trial Designs
8. Magellan Biosciences and Miacom Diagnostics Team Up to Enable Faster, Easier Identification of Pathogens as Part of Magellans End-to-End Suite of Microbiology Products Designed to Streamline Lab Workflow and Enable Better Treatment Decisions
9. New CDC Guidelines for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Associated Infections Designate Chlorhexidine Gluconate-Impregnated Sponge as a Category 1B Recommendation Exclusively Based on Evidence Related to BIOPATCH® Protective Disk With CHG
10. VENENUM Biodesign to Exhibit at SBS
11. 3-D printing method advances electrically small antenna design
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Swiss cheese' design enables thin film silicon solar cells with potential for higher efficiencies
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... companion diagnostics is one of the major ... pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers working together ... . --> ... global cancer biomarkers market spread across 89 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... cat and human plaque and pave the way for more ... problems in cats     --> ... most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little ... now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced an ... its DNA library preparation products, including the ThruPLEX ... Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized for ... libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free circulating ... in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific is ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Germany , October 27, 2015 ... SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps ... SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they ... BeGaze. --> Munich, Germany , ... (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):