While conventional silicon solar cells are a strong technology, an overwhelming drawback is the use of very high doping in contacts and carrier separation layers. This prevents further increases in their power conversion efficiencies. Passivating carrier-selective contacts have been recently demonstrated using thin films. These materials can allow cell architectures that overcome the drawbacks of current technologies, and are potentially much more cost effective. In this project we aim to study and develop passivating selective contacts based thin interfacial films, including the device design and processing that enables their adoption and deployment in cell manufacture. This is required for both single junction silicon devices, and silicon tandem devices using potential III-V or Perovskite cells. The project will involve device simulation using Sentaurus TCAD, and synthesis using the Semiconductor fabrication facilities at the Materials Department. This project integrates into the Lab’s global aim to boost the future reductions in the cost of solar energy, which are required in the world to move to low-carbon electricity generation, and avoid the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change.
Fundamental structure of a dopant-less solar cell.
The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.