Symposium ET02—Silicon for Photovoltaics
The past few years have seen significant advances in the research and development of high-efficiency silicon photovoltaics; a new world record efficiency (26.6%) has been set by Kaneka, Japan (April 2017), and six different institutions or companies achieve now over 25% efficient cells. Key enabling factors have been: (i) the increasing quality of absorber materials; (ii) the development of carrier-selective, passivating contacts; and (iii) the design of device architectures towards maximum current generation, which includes strategies aimed at improved utilization of the solar spectrum by combining silicon solar cells with complementary technologies such as perovskite and III-V solar cells for tandem solar cell fabrication. This symposium is focused on these factors, and especially welcomes scientific and technological contributions aimed at increasing the conversion efficiency and/or lowering the material and fabrication costs. Research on high quality silicon, silicon-enabled absorbing materials and new allotropes of silicon for PV applications is highly encouraged.
In greater detail:
Absorber materials: Wire-sawn Cz-grown monocrystalline silicon is currently the substrate of choice for high-efficiency silicon photovoltaics. Here we are especially interested in the development of new silicon-enabled absorbers that could offer higher absorption and/or lower Auger recombination (e.g. BaSi2, new allotropes of Si, etc.) and in alternative absorber fabrication methods such as layer separation/transfer, epitaxial wafers, or solid-/liquid-induced crystallization aimed at kerfless silicon or ultra-thin silicon absorbers.
Carrier-selective passivating contacts: Contacts aimed at the selective collection of one type of carrier and avoidance of recombination of the opposite carrier type have been shown to be essential for enabling high performance devices. Here we welcome contributions discussing their fundamental underlying principles (i.e. surface passivation, band alignment/bending, Fermi-level pinning at interfaces), deposition and doping methods, post-treatments, new materials (including transparent electrodes and doping-free approaches) and new functionalities (temperature stability, transparency, local depositions).
Photon management: Micro/nano-scale front texturing and dielectric spacer / metallic rear reflector constitute state-of-the-art light management techniques. Here we also look forward to contributions aimed at improved utilization of the solar spectrum, by novel optical designs, surface texturing, development of back-contacted architectures, and especially silicon-based tandem solar cells, combined with perovskite, III-V groups materials or alternative top cells.
Submissions are encouraged on the materials science, fabrication, device application, theory, simulation, and characterization in these emerging areas.