Limits to the efficiency of silicon multilayer thin film solar cells

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Abstract
Thin film crystalline silicon solar cells can only achieve high efficiencies if light-trapping can be used to give a long optical path lengtrh, while simulatneously achieving near unity collection probabilities for all generated carriers. This necessitates a supporting substrate of a foreign material, with refractive index compatible with light trapping schemes for silicon. The resulting inability to nucleate growth of crystalline silicon films of good crystallographic quality on such foreign substrates, at present prevents the achievement of high efficiecny devices using conventional single junction solar cell structures. The parallel multijunction solar cell preovides a new approach for achieving high efficiencies from very poor quality material, with near unity collection probabilities for all generated carriers achieved through appropriae junction spacing. Heavy doping is used to minimise the dark saturation current contribution from the layers, therefore allowing respectable voltages. The design strategy, corresponding advantages, theoretical predictions and experimental results are presented.
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Author(s)
Wenham, Stuart
Green, Martin
Edminston, Sean
Campbell, Patrick
Koschier, L
Thorpe, D
Honsberg, Christiana
Shi, Z
Heiser, Gernot
Sproul, Alistair
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Publication Year
1996
Resource Type
Journal Article
Degree Type
UNSW Faculty