Photonic and plasmonic structures for enhancing efficiency of thin film silicon solar cells

dc.contributor.advisor Vikram L. Dalal
dc.contributor.advisor Rana Biswas
dc.contributor.author Pattnaik, Sambit
dc.contributor.department Electrical and Computer Engineering
dc.date 2018-08-11T18:57:27.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T02:46:01Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T02:46:01Z
dc.date.copyright Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2012
dc.date.embargo 2013-06-05
dc.date.issued 2012-01-01
dc.description.abstract <p>Crystalline silicon solar cells use high cost processing techniques as well as thick materials that are ~ 200µm thick to convert solar energy into electricity. From a cost viewpoint, it is highly advantageous to use thin film solar cells which are generally made in the range of 0.1-3µm in thickness. Due to this low thickness, the quantity of material is greatly reduced and so is the number and complexity of steps involved to complete a device, thereby allowing a continuous processing capability improving the throughput and hence greatly decreasing the cost. This also leads to faster payback time for the end user of the photovoltaic panel. In addition, due to the low thickness and the possibility of deposition on flexible foils, the photovoltaic (PV) modules can be flexible. Such flexible PV modules are well suited for building-integrated applications and for portable, foldable, PV power products.</p> <p>For economical applications of solar cells, high efficiency is an important consideration. Since Si is an indirect bandgap material, a thin film of Si needs efficient light trapping to achieve high optical absorption. The previous work in this field has been mostly based on randomly textured back reflectors. In this work, we have used a novel approach, a periodic photonic and plasmonic structure, to optimize current density of the devices by absorbing longer wavelengths without hampering other properties. The two dimensional diffraction effect generated by a periodic structure with the plasmonic light concentration achieved by silver cones to efficiently propagate light in the plane at the back surface of a solar cell, achieves a significant increase in optical absorption. Using such structures, we achieved a 50%+ increase in short circuit current in a nano-crystalline (nc-Si) solar cell relative to stainless steel. In addition to nc-Si solar cells on stainless steel, we have also used the periodic photonic structure to enhance optical absorption in amorphous cells and tandem junction amorphous/nano-crystalline cells. These structures have been fabricated on flexible plastic substrates.</p> <p>We will describe the use of periodic structures to achieve increased light absorption and enhanced photocurrents in thin film solar cells, and also compare them systematically with other textured substrates. We discuss the various technological aspects and obstacles faced before successful fabrication of such structure, and during the fabrication of solar cells on these structures. The ideas of periodic texturing and random texturing will be compared and an implementation of them together will be discussed.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/12908/
dc.identifier.articleid 3915
dc.identifier.contextkey 4188233
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-310
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath etd/12908
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/27097
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/12908/Pattnaik_iastate_0097E_13118.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 19:33:14 UTC 2022
dc.subject.disciplines Electrical and Electronics
dc.subject.disciplines Mechanics of Materials
dc.subject.disciplines Oil, Gas, and Energy
dc.subject.keywords amorphous
dc.subject.keywords photonic
dc.subject.keywords plasmonic
dc.subject.keywords Silicon
dc.subject.keywords solar
dc.subject.keywords Thin films
dc.title Photonic and plasmonic structures for enhancing efficiency of thin film silicon solar cells
dc.type article
dc.type.genre dissertation
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication a75a044c-d11e-44cd-af4f-dab1d83339ff
thesis.degree.level dissertation
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy
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