Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nano-imprinted photonic structures improve efficiency of silicon solar cells

nanoimprinted_solarcells.jpg: (left) Cross section SEM of the 2D periodic photonic nanostructures, (right) 1-m-thin crystalline silicon solar cells on glass including the 2D periodic photonic nanostructures with obvious diffraction of light.
nanoimprinted_solarcells.jpg: (left) Cross section SEM of the 2D periodic photonic nanostructures, (right) 1-m-thin crystalline silicon solar cells on glass including the 2D periodic photonic nanostructures with obvious diffraction of light.

Abstract:
Imec has successfully fabricated crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells including 2D periodic photonic nanostructures made with nano-imprint lithography. The result was an improvement in energy-conversion efficiency, compared to unpatterned cells, through a better absorption of the light spectrum. The technique shows a path to further reducing the thickness of solar cells while keeping the efficiency as high as possible.

Nano-imprinted photonic structures improve efficiency of silicon solar cells

Leuven, Belgium | Posted on March 16th, 2012

The reduction of the silicon wafer thickness from 150μm to 50μm and below is potentially the best way to decrease the cost of solar cells. At imec, we pursue this path through ultrathin-film crystalline silicon technologies. However, if thinner photoactive layers are used, the optical absorption is significantly reduced. This is especially so at the near-infrared region of the solar spectrum. A photon with a wavelength of 1μm needs an absorption depth as deep as 100μm. Losing this part of the spectrum reduces the overall conversion efficiency of the cells.

Recently, the field of photonics has come up with methods to manipulate light through specific structures that are smaller than the wavelengths. This makes it possible to use periodic photonic nanostructures to affect the motion of photons in a similar way as the periodicity of atoms in a semiconductor crystal affects the motion of electrons. But to do so, we need efficient patterning techniques with nanometer-scale resolution.

At imec, we used nano-imprint lithography to fabricate 2D periodic photonic nanostructures. Nano-imprint lithography is a recent top-down approach for fabricating nanometer-scale patterns. It is one of the best candidates to improve the light absorption while maintaining an acceptable manufacturing cost, but it is currently barely used for c-Si PV applications. The patterning is performed by direct deformation of the resist material through mechanical pressure and a subsequent etching step.

Compared to the standard solar cell texturing by wet-etching, subwavelength patterning using nano-imprint lithography has some advantages. First, there is less material waste upon etching (less than a micron is consumed) compared to the state-of-the-art texturing, where 5-10 microns are lost. And second, diffraction and scattering of light is possible at higher angles due to the dimensions of the nanopattern.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Barbara Kalkis
Maestro Marketing & PR

Copyright © IMEC

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Discoveries

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Announcements

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Energy

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas: New study defines best materials for carbon capture, methane selectivity March 23rd, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Electro-optical switch transmits data at record-low temperatures: Operating at temperatures near absolute zero, switch could enable significantly faster data processing with lower power consumption March 20th, 2017

AIM Photonics Welcomes Coventor as Newest Member: US-Backed Initiative Taps Process Modeling Specialist to Enable Manufacturing of High-Yield, High-Performance Integrated Photonic Designs March 16th, 2017

Optical fingerprint can reveal pollutants in the air: Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have proposed a new, sophisticated method of detecting molecules with sensors based on ultra-thin nanomaterials March 15th, 2017

MIPT physicists predict the existence of unusual optical composites March 10th, 2017

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

ATTOPSEMI Technology Joins FDXcelerator Program to Deliver Advanced Non-Volatile Memory IP to GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22 FDX Technology Platform: Leading-edge I-fuse brings higher reliability, smaller cell size and ease of programmability for consumer, automotive, and IoT applications March 27th, 2017

Leti and HORIBA Scientific to Host Webinar on Ultrafast Characterization Tool: Plasma Profiling Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer Tool Cuts Optimization Time In Layer Deposition and Fabrication of Wide Range of Applications March 27th, 2017

AIM Photonics Welcomes Coventor as Newest Member: US-Backed Initiative Taps Process Modeling Specialist to Enable Manufacturing of High-Yield, High-Performance Integrated Photonic Designs March 16th, 2017

Applied Graphene Materials plc - Significant commercial progress in AGMs three core sectors March 3rd, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light: Rice University lab turns transition metals into practical catalyst for solar, other applications March 23rd, 2017

New nanofiber marks important step in next generation battery development March 14th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project