Silicon and related thin films are applied widely in solar cells and other electronic devices. This tutorial will introduce the preparation methods, materials properties, fundamental Si surface chemistry and device engineering. This will be followed by a review of the device physics of solar cells and the device output characteristics during testing. We shall also survey different monocrystalline Si solar cell architectures, with special emphasis on interdigitated back contact cells and the use of carrier-selective passivating contacts in advanced cell designs. Finally, we will discuss the physics of carrier lifetime and efficiency measurements in silicon solar cells and modules.
Crystalline Si Growth, Surface Chemistry and Passivation
Overview of c-Si growth, converting SiO2 to c-Si wafers; single- and multi-crystalline Si; effect of oxygen in p-type Si solar cells; passivated of c-Si; H-terminated silicon surfaces; and structure and properties of the c-Si/SiO2 and c-Si/Al2O3 interfaces.
Device Physics of Solar Cells
Silicon solar cells are converging on high-efficiency devices. For these, the device physics is tremendously simplified, well-described by a formalism first developed for high-efficiency n-type concentrator solar cells. This description, based on balancing photogeneration with recombination, gives simple insight into the operation of all modern solar cells with extensions relevant to the interpretation of test data as well.
3:00 pm BREAK
High-Efficiency Approaches for Monocrystalline Si Solar Cells
Standard Al back surface field silicon solar cells; p-type PERC cells, light-induced degradation and regeneration; methods for creating passivated contacts; interdigitated back contact Si solar cells; and HIT cells.
Test and Measurement of Silicon Ingots, Wafers, Cells and Modules
This section will focus on minority-carrier lifetime measurements as a tool for monitoring and optimizing device design and process optimization at each step in the production process. The difficulties in measuring the new generations of high-efficiency solar cells and modules will be discussed in detail.
- Sumit Agarwal, Colorado School of Mines
- Ronald Sinton, Sinton Instruments