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High Efficiency Thin Upgraded Metallurgical-Grade Silicon Solar Cells on Flexible Substrates

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journal contribution
posted on 10.10.2012, 00:00 by Jae Young Kwon, Duck Hyun Lee, Michelle Chitambar, Stephen Maldonado, Anish Tuteja, Akram Boukai
We present a thin film (<20 μm) solar cell based on upgraded metallurgical-grade polycrystalline Si that utilizes silver nanoparticles atop silicon nanopillars created by block copolymer nanolithography to enhance light absorption and increase cell efficiency η > 8%. In addition, the solar cells are flexible and semitransparent so as to reduce balance of systems costs and open new applications for conformable solar cell arrays on a variety of surfaces. Detailed studies on the optical and electrical properties of the resulting solar cells suggest that both antireflective and light-trapping mechanisms are key to the enhanced efficiency.