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Issue 8, 2010
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Si microwire-array solar cells

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Si microwire-array solar cells with Air Mass 1.5 Global conversion efficiencies of up to 7.9% have been fabricated using an active volume of Si equivalent to a 4 μm thick Si wafer. These solar cells exhibited open-circuit voltages of 500 mV, short-circuit current densities (Jsc) of up to 24 mA cm-2, and fill factors >65% and employed Al2O3 dielectric particles that scattered light incident in the space between the wires, a Ag back reflector that prevented the escape of incident illumination from the back surface of the solar cell, and an a-SiNx:H passivation/anti-reflection layer. Wire-array solar cells without some or all of these design features were also fabricated to demonstrate the importance of the light-trapping elements in achieving a high Jsc. Scanning photocurrent microscopy images of the microwire-array solar cells revealed that the higher Jsc of the most advanced cell design resulted from an increased absorption of light incident in the space between the wires. Spectral response measurements further revealed that solar cells with light-trapping elements exhibited improved red and infrared response, as compared to solar cells without light-trapping elements.

Graphical abstract: Si microwire-array solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information

05 Apr 2010
18 May 2010
First published
25 Jun 2010

Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 1037-1041
Article type

Si microwire-array solar cells

M. C. Putnam, S. W. Boettcher, M. D. Kelzenberg, D. B. Turner-Evans, J. M. Spurgeon, E. L. Warren, R. M. Briggs, N. S. Lewis and H. A. Atwater, Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 1037
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00014K

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