Case 14085

Solar Photovoltaic Cells based on Silicon Membranes with Periodic Holes

Keywords:

Solar Photovoltaics, Crystalline Silicon, Nanohole arrays

Applications:

Design and fabrication of thin-film photovoltaic cells

Problem:

    Poor infrared absorption of crystalline silicon

Technology:

Theoretical investigations reveal that optical coupling becomes better as the fill fraction decreases in both nanohole and nanorod arrays as a result of the smaller optical density. In all cases, the nanohole arrays show better light coupling than nanorod arrays or homogenous silicon film. The optimal fill fraction for a finite nanohole structure is close to 0.5. A nanohole array even without an AR coating yields a higher efficiency than the AR coated homogenous film under a wide range of incident angles of sunlight. In a well-established fabrication technique, highly ordered holes can be produced on a crystalline Si wafer by lithography and subsequent etching acid.

Advantages:
  • The same ultimate efficiency with twelve times less silicon by mass
  • Great potential for efficient solar photovoltaics

Inventors:
  • Professor Gang Chen (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Sang Eon Han (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Application Number 13/513928, filed on September 11, 2012

Publications:

N/A

Last revised: April 30, 2013

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