Ultrathin solar cells with thicknesses at least 10 times lower than conventional solar cells could have the unique potential to efficiently convert solar energy into electricity while enabling material savings, shorter deposition times and improved carrier collection in defective absorber materials. Efficient light absorption and hence high power conversion efficiency could be retained in ultrathin absorbers using light-trapping structures that enhance the optical path. Nevertheless, several technical challenges prevent the realization of a practical device. Here we review the state-of-the-art of c-Si, GaAs and Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)(2) ultrathin solar cells and compare their optical performances against theoretical light-trapping models. We then address challenges in the fabrication of ultrathin absorber layers and in nanoscale patterning of light-trapping structures and discuss strategies to ensure efficient charge collection. Finally, we propose practical architectures for ultrathin solar cells that combine photonic and electrical constraints, and identify future research directions and potential applications of ultrathin photovoltaic technologies.Ultrathin solar cells attract interest for their relatively low cost and potential novel applications. Here, Massiot et al. discuss their performance and the challenges in the fabrication of ultrathin absorbers, patterning of light trapping structures and ensuring efficient charge-carrier collection.

Progress and prospects for ultrathin solar cells

Andrea Cattoni;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Ultrathin solar cells with thicknesses at least 10 times lower than conventional solar cells could have the unique potential to efficiently convert solar energy into electricity while enabling material savings, shorter deposition times and improved carrier collection in defective absorber materials. Efficient light absorption and hence high power conversion efficiency could be retained in ultrathin absorbers using light-trapping structures that enhance the optical path. Nevertheless, several technical challenges prevent the realization of a practical device. Here we review the state-of-the-art of c-Si, GaAs and Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)(2) ultrathin solar cells and compare their optical performances against theoretical light-trapping models. We then address challenges in the fabrication of ultrathin absorber layers and in nanoscale patterning of light-trapping structures and discuss strategies to ensure efficient charge collection. Finally, we propose practical architectures for ultrathin solar cells that combine photonic and electrical constraints, and identify future research directions and potential applications of ultrathin photovoltaic technologies.Ultrathin solar cells attract interest for their relatively low cost and potential novel applications. Here, Massiot et al. discuss their performance and the challenges in the fabrication of ultrathin absorbers, patterning of light trapping structures and ensuring efficient charge-carrier collection.
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1250678
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