Progress on Silicon Microwire Solar Cells
Silicon microwire is a very promising candidate for next-generation solar cells. Si microwires achieve strong broadband light absorption, acting as an antireflection coating layer. In addition to superior optical properties, Si microwires have potential for the effective separation and collection of photocarriers through the radial junction due to a short diffusion length to the microwire radius. This factor can relax the requirement for high-quality material, enabling a reduction in the cost of solar cells. In this report, we review recent progress in vertically aligned Si microwire solar cells with reference to: 1) optimized microwire structures to enhance light absorption, 2) uniform radial junction for effective carrier separation, 3) minimization of surface recombination through surface treatments, and 4) fine metal electrodes for efficient carrier collection. In addition, we present studies on flexible crystalline Si solar cells that use mechanically flexible Si microwires. Furthermore, based on the understanding of each fabrication process, we discuss the challenges related to the realization of high-efficiency Si microwire solar cells.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A Recent Review Articles