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High-bandgap silicon nanocrystal solar cells: Device fabrication, characterization, and modeling

: Löper, P.; Canino, M.; Schnabel, M.; Summonte, C.; Janz, S.; Zacharias, M.


Wang, X.:
High-efficiency solar cells. Physics, materials, and devices
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014 (Springer series in materials science 190)
ISBN: 978-3-319-01987-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-01988-8 (Online)
Book Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Solarzellen - Entwicklung und Charakterisierung; Silicium-Photovoltaik; Farbstoff; Organische und Neuartige Solarzellen; Herstellung und Analyse von hocheffizienten Solarzellen; Tandemsolarzellen auf kristallinem Silicium; Kristalline Silicium- Dünnschichtsolarzellen; carbide; nanocrystals; dots; phase crystallization; solar cells

Silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) embedded in Si-based dielectrics provide a Si-based high-bandgap material (1.7 eV) and enable the construction of crystalline Si tandem solar cells. This chapter focusses on Si NC embedded in silicon carbide, because silicon carbide offers electrical conduction through the matrix material. The material development is reviewed, and optical modeling is introduced as a powerful method to monitor the four material components, amorphous and crystalline silicon as well as amorphous and crystalline silicon carbide. In the second part of this chapter, recent device developments for the photovoltaic characterization of Si NCs are examined. The controlled growth of Si NCs involves high-temperature annealing which deteriorates the properties of any previously established selective contacts. A membrane-based device is presented to overcome these limitations. In this approach, the formation of both selective contacts is carried out after high-temperature annealing and is therefore not affected by the latter. We examine p-i-n solar cells with an intrinsic region made of Si NCs embedded in silicon carbide. Device failure due to damaged insulation layers is analyzed by light beam-induced current measurements. An optical model of the device is presented for improving the cell current. A characterization scheme for Si NC p-i-n solar cells is presented which aims at determining the fundamental transport and recombination properties, i.e., the effective mobility lifetime product, of the nanocrystal layer at device level. For this means, an illumination-dependent analysis of Si NC p-i-n solar cells is carried out within the framework of the constant field approximation. The analysis builds on an optical device model, which is used to assess the photogenerated current in each of the device layers. Illumination-dependent current–voltage curves are modelled with a voltage-dependent current collection function with only two free parameters, and excellent agreement is found between theory and experiment. An effective mobility lifetime product of 10−10 cm2/V is derived and confirmed independently from an alternative method. The procedure discussed in this chapter is proposed as a characterization scheme for further material development, providing an optimization parameter (the effective mobility lifetime product) relevant for the photovoltaic performance of Si NC films.