Enhancing crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency with SixGe1− x layers

Adnan Ali, S. L. Cheow, A. W. Azhari, Kamaruzzaman Sopian, Saleem H. Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell represents a cost effective, environment-friendly, and proven renewable energy resource. Industrially manufacturing of c-Si solar has now matured in terms of efficiency and cost. Continuing cost-effective efficiency enhancement requires transition towards thinner wafers in near term and thin-films in the long term. Successful implementation of either of these alternatives must address intrinsic optical absorption limitation of Si. Bandgap engineering through integration with SixGe1− x layers offers an attractive, inexpensive option. With the help of PC1D software, role of SixGe1− x layers in conventional c-Si solar cells has been intensively investigated in both wafer and thin film configurations by varying Ge concentration, thickness, and placement. In wafer configuration, increase in Ge concentration leads to enhanced absorption through bandgap broadening with an efficiency enhancement of 8% for Ge concentrations of less than 20%. At higher Ge concentrations, despite enhanced optical absorption, efficiency is reduced due to substantial lowering of open-circuit voltage. In 5–25-μm thickness, thin-film solar cell configurations, efficiency gain in excess of 30% is achievable. Therefore, SixGe1− x based thin-film solar cells with an order of magnitude reduction in costly Si material are ideally-suited both in terms of high efficiency and cost. Recent research has demonstrated significant improvement in epitaxially grown SixGe1− x layers on nanostructured Si substrates, thereby enhancing potential of this approach for next generation of c-Si based photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalResults in Physics
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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solar cells
costs
wafers
thin films
optical absorption
configurations
renewable energy
augmentation
silicon
open circuit voltage
resources
manufacturing
engineering
computer programs

Keywords

  • Absorption in SiGe layers
  • Bandgap engineering
  • Hetero-junction solar cells
  • Heteroepitaxial growth of SiGe on Si
  • Silicon solar cell
  • Thin-film solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Enhancing crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency with SixGe1− x layers. / Ali, Adnan; Cheow, S. L.; Azhari, A. W.; Sopian, Kamaruzzaman; Zaidi, Saleem H.

In: Results in Physics, Vol. 7, 2017, p. 225-232.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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