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Molecular Monolayers for Electrical Passivation and Functionalization of Silicon-Based Solar Energy Devices

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posted on 2016-12-09, 00:00 authored by Janneke Veerbeek, Nienke J. Firet, Wouter Vijselaar, Rick Elbersen, Han Gardeniers, Jurriaan Huskens
Silicon-based solar fuel devices require passivation for optimal performance yet at the same time need functionalization with (photo)­catalysts for efficient solar fuel production. Here, we use molecular monolayers to enable electrical passivation and simultaneous functionalization of silicon-based solar cells. Organic monolayers were coupled to silicon surfaces by hydrosilylation in order to avoid an insulating silicon oxide layer at the surface. Monolayers of 1-tetradecyne were shown to passivate silicon micropillar-based solar cells with radial junctions, by which the efficiency increased from 8.7% to 9.9% for n+/p junctions and from 7.8% to 8.8% for p+/n junctions. This electrical passivation of the surface, most likely by removal of dangling bonds, is reflected in a higher shunt resistance in the J–V measurements. Monolayers of 1,8-nonadiyne were still reactive for click chemistry with a model catalyst, thus enabling simultaneous passivation and future catalyst coupling.

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