Nanostructure Arrays for Multijunction Solar Cells: Final Subcontract Report, 12 May 1999--11 July 2002

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report

Abstract

This project developed the process technologies for the fabrication of high-efficiency multijunction photovoltaic cells using semiconductor nanostructure arrays. These devices are expected to provide increased energy conversion efficiency, as well as increased carrier collection efficiency. In addition, this approach provides the ability to tune the absorption spectrum to match selected windowsof the solar spectrum. At the same time, these devices can be fabricated using existing industrial electrochemical processing techniques that can substantially reduce the cost of each device. The fabrication technique is based on electrochemical synthesis of II-VI semiconductor quantum wires using a preformed alumina template. This project focused on and solved the technical challenges that needto be addressed for the implementation of such devices. Specific issues addressed include (a) improved pore ordering on thin-film templates, (b) synthesis of II-VI semiconductor nanostructures by both AC and DC deposition, (c) an in-situ barrier-layer engineering process that allow the fabrication of superior-quality materials and improved template/substrate interface, (d) characterizationtechniques for templates, (e) process technology for creating stacked layers of nanostructures, (f) process throughput and improved apparatus, (g) modeling tools, (h) use of glass substrates, and (i) a nonlithographic surface texturing technique for silicon PV cells. An important outcome of this project is the demonstration of the fabrication technique on glass substrates. This breakthroughprovides the possibility of covering buildings with 'transparent' solar cells fabricated on architectural glass. The accomplishments of this project position it well for the next phase of research, namely, creation and optimization of the nanostructure-based PV cells.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Work performed by West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-36101

Keywords

  • carrier collection
  • characterizations
  • devices
  • electrochemical synthesis
  • energy conversion
  • glass substrates
  • II-VI
  • in-situ barrier
  • modeling tools
  • multijunction
  • nanostructure arrays
  • PV
  • semiconductor
  • solar cells
  • solar cells
  • thin films

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