From Event: SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy, 2015
We suggest a new paradigm for solar cells that uses a nanostructured crystalline collector (silicon) in an amorphous absorber matrix (hydrogenated amorphous silicon). Previously amorphous absorbers have received no serious consideration because of their low carrier mobilities. Specifically, we demonstrate that carriers generated in the amorphous region are transported out of this region before losing their energy to heat. This result establishes the possibility of using a wide range of nanostructured amorphous matrices to dramatically increase the efficiencies of solar cells. The use of an amorphous absorber provides a highly desirable and flexible approach to producing low-cost, hot carrier solar cells. Since amorphous materials can be grown over a much wider composition space than crystalline materials, this surprising result greatly broadens the absorbing materials that can be used to dramatically increase the efficiencies of solar cells.
P. C. Taylor, J. D. Fields, and R. T. Collins, "On the road toward a hot carrier solar cell," Proc. SPIE 9562, Next Generation Technologies for Solar Energy Conversion VI, 956203 (Presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy: August 11, 2015; Published: 4 September 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2190910.
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