Black silicon solar thin-film microcells integrating top nanocone structures for broadband and omnidirectional light-trapping

Zhida Xu, Yuan Yao, Eric P. Brueckner, Lanfang Li, Jing Jiang, Ralph G. Nuzzo, Gang Logan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently developed classes of monocrystalline silicon solar microcells (μ-cell) can be assembled into modules with characteristics (i.e., mechanically flexible forms, compact concentrator designs, and high-voltage outputs) that would be impossible to achieve using conventional, wafer-based approaches. In this paper, we describe a highly dense, uniform and non-periodic nanocone forest structure of black silicon (bSi) created on optically-thin (30 μm) μ-cells for broadband and omnidirectional light-trapping with a lithography-free and high-throughput plasma texturizing process. With optimized plasma etching conditions and a silicon nitride passivation layer, black silicon μ-cells, when embedded in a polymer waveguiding layer, display dramatic increases of as much as 65.7% in short circuit current, as compared to a bare silicon device. The conversion efficiency increases from 8.1% to 11.5% with a small drop in open circuit voltage and fill factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number305301
JournalNanotechnology
Volume25
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

Keywords

  • black silicon
  • light trapping
  • photovoltaics
  • solar microcell
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)

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