The average efficiency of standard commercial solar cells has been increased by 0.4 percent, just by replacing the standard surface texture with nanowire technology, Bandgap Engineering Inc. announced this week.
The nanowire-enhanced cells, produced on the same line as the standard cells, showed an average efficiency boost from 17.2 to 17.6 percent, Bandgap said.
To demonstrate the boost, Bandgap asked a cell manufacturer to run 84 multicrystalline wafers through its standard industrial cell process, including a standard emitter, standard silicon-nitride and standard screen printing with full back-side aluminum metal, on standard full-area 156 × 156-mm wafers. The only difference was that half the wafers in the batch featured Bandgap’s patented nanotexture, while the other half had standard acidic texture.
The single-sided nanotexture, a drop-in upgrade for crystalline silicon manufacturers, enables processes that require planar back surfaces for improved reflection or passivation. The texturing process also consumes less than 1 µm of silicon, which is ideal for thin silicon technologies, the company said. The silicon nanowires can also be patterned to enable plated front metal contacts without laser patterning or lithography.
“The best nanowire solar cell had 17.76 percent efficiency, compared to 17.32 percent for the best standard solar cell. Since the cell process was optimized for the standard cells, and not for nanowire cells, and since we have a clear path to further improve our technology, I expect further efficiency improvements with a fairly straightforward optimization,” said Dr. Jeff Miller, Bandgap’s senior device scientist.
Bandgap had previously demonstrated even larger efficiency improvements, but that was by optimizing the full cell process for nanowire cells, the company said.
Separately, the company also announced a new efficiency record of 19 percent for a monocrystalline nanowire solar cell made in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Importantly, all the cells, including the record-setting cell, were full-area, 156 × 156-mm cells produced with a standard emitter, silicon-nitride, full-back-side aluminum metal and screen-printed metallization, Bandgap said.
For more information, visit: www.bandgap.com
MORE VIDEOS »
Beam Expansion – Standard Concepts Re-interpretedEveryday work in an optics laboratory would be unthinkable without beam expansion systems. They serve to optimally adjust the beam cross sections…MORE INFO » Dynamic â Dynamic RangeThe dynamic or dynamic range of a CCD-camera system is a widely used term to characterize the ability of a camera system to measure or image…MORE INFO » Measuring Optical Densities Over 10 Abs on the Agilent Cary 7000 Universal Measurement Spectrophotometer (UMS)High blocking optical filters deliver critical optical control in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. Highly attenuating (i.e., high…MORE INFO »
MORE WHITE PAPERS »
Search the Photonics Buyers’ Guide, the most comprehensive buyers’ resource in the photonics industry.
1600+ product categories
The authors hope the new National Academies of Science report, “Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nationâ will have a major influence on research and manufacturing in the US, unlike its predecessor. How do you think the report will impact those critical areas of the US economy?
I think it will drive commercialization of photonic technologiesI think it will lead to new opportunities and breakthroughs in researchI think it depends on government buy-inI think it depends on industry buy-in
You, too, can be foiled by lasers while trying to steal a diamond It’s a well-worn trope in heist movies: the array of lasers surrounding a diamond — or the FULL ARTICLE »
View Feed »Photonics.com http://t.co/FTgX78iY is the leading source for photonics news, research, business updates, new products, and industry events. View Feed »Laura S. Marshall managing editor, laurin publishing (photonics spectra, biophotonics, europhotonics); interests: photonics, lasers, light, science, physics, cameras, biotech View Feed »Photonics Media Offering global coverage of optics, lasers, imaging, fiber optics, electro-optics and photonics component manufacturing