2018 MRS Fall Meeting Home

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.

Topics will include:

  • Silicon and silicon-enabled photovoltaic devices, such as silicon heterojunction and carrier-selective passivating contact solar cells, all-silicon tandem solar cells, tandem-on-silicon solar cells using perovskite, III-V groups materials, or alternative top cells, new device architectures, bifacial cells, and silicon nanowires/nanocrystals solar cells and thin-film silicon solar cells
  • Absorber, doping, contact, passivation, transparent conductor, and metallization materials for silicon (or tandem) photovoltaic devices
  • Silicon film materials such as (hydrogenated) amorphous silicon, nanocrystalline silicon, silicon carbides and oxides, epitaxial silicon and epitaxial layers on silicon, silicon-germanium, barium-disilicide and silicon-(carbon-)tin alloys
  • Methods of making and/or doping silicon including (PE) CVD, kerfless wafering, solid-/liquid-induced crystallization, and implantation
  • Characterization and modeling of the structural, mechanical, electrical, and optical properties of silicon-related materials and devices
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Ashraf Alam (Purdue University, USA)
  • Anna Battaglia (Enel Green Power, Italy)
  • Jan Benick (Fraunhofer ISE, Germany)
  • Adrienne Blum (Sinton Instruments, USA)
  • James Bullock (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
  • Gabriela Bunea (Sunpower, USA)
  • Kylie Catchpole (Australian National University, Australia)
  • Hiroyuki Fujiwara (Gifu University, Japan)
  • Anita Ho-Baillie (University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Zachary Holman (Arizona State University, USA)
  • Andrea Ingenito (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Lars Korte (Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Germany)
  • C.W. Lan (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
  • Michael McGehee (Stanford University, USA)
  • Paul McIntyre (Stanford University, USA)
  • Delfina Munoz (CEA, France)
  • Robby Peibst (Institut für Solarenergieforschung GmbH, Germany)
  • Ingrid Romijn (ECN, Netherlands)
  • Paul Stradins (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Baoquan Sun (Soochow University, China)
  • Loic Tous (imec, Belgium)
  • Noritaka Usami (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Jeremie Werner (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Symposium Organizers

Stefaan De Wolf
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Saudi Arabia
966 (0)12 808 4849, stefaan.dewolf@kaust.edu.sa

Olindo Isabella
Delft University of Technology
Netherlands
31 (0)15 27 89147, o.isabella@tudelft.nl

Takuya Matsui
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Japan
81 (0)29 861 3204, t-matsui@aist.go.jp

David L. Young
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
USA
303-384-6621, david.young@nrel.gov

Keywords for Abstract Submission

contact formation, photovoltaics, silicon, solar cells, tandem devices