Limits to the efficiency of silicon multilayer thin film solar cells

S. R. Wenham, M. A. Green, S. Edmiston, P. Campbell, L. Koschier, Christiana Honsberg, A. B. Sproul, D. Thorpe, Z. Shi, G. Heiser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thin film crystalline silicon solar cells can only achieve high efficiencies if light trapping can be used to give a long optical path length, while simultaneously achieving near unity collection probabilities for all generated carriers. This necessitates a supporting substrate of a foreign material, with refractive index compatible with light trapping schemes for the silicon. The resulting inability to nucleate growth of crystalline silicon films of good crystallographic quality on such foreign substrates, at present prevents the achievement of high efficiency devices using conventional single junction solar cell structures. The parallel multijunction solar cell provides a new approach for achieving high efficiencies from very poor quality material, with near unity collection probabilities for all generated carriers achieved through appropriate junction spacing. Heavy doping is used to minimise the dark saturation current contribution from the layers, therefore allowing respectable voltages. The design strategy, corresponding advantages, theoretical predictions and experimental results are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Editors Anon
PublisherIEEE
Pages1234-1241
Number of pages8
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 24th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. Part 2 (of 2) - Waikoloa, HI, USA
Duration: Dec 5 1994Dec 9 1994

Other

OtherProceedings of the 24th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. Part 2 (of 2)
CityWaikoloa, HI, USA
Period12/5/9412/9/94

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Wenham, S. R., Green, M. A., Edmiston, S., Campbell, P., Koschier, L., Honsberg, C., ... Heiser, G. (1994). Limits to the efficiency of silicon multilayer thin film solar cells. In Anon (Ed.), Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (Vol. 2, pp. 1234-1241). IEEE.