Application of metal, metal-oxide, and silicon-oxide based intermediate reflective layers for current matching in autonomous high-voltage multijunction photovoltaic devices

Thierry de Vrijer*, Sander Miedema, Thijs Blackstone, David van Nijen, Can Han, Arno H.M. Smets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

A logical next step for achieving a cost price reduction per Watt peak of photovoltaics (PV) is multijunction PV devices. In two-terminal multijunction PV devices, the photo-current generated in each subcell should be matched. Intermediate reflective layers (IRLs) are widely employed in multijunction devices to increase reflection at the interface between subcells to enhance current generation in the subcell(s) positioned before the IRL, in reference to the incident light. In this work, the results of over 65 multijunction devices are presented, in order to explore the effect of different current matching approaches. The influence of variations in absorber thickness as well as thickness variations of different IRLs based on silicon-oxide, various transparent conductive oxides (TCO), and metallic layers on all-silicon multijunction PV devices is studied. Specifically, hybrid, 2-terminal, monolithically integrated silicon heterojunction (SHJ) and thin film nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) and amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) tandem and triple junction devices are processed. Based on these experiments, certain design rules for optimal current matching operation in multijunction devices are formulated. Finally, taking these design rules into account, record all-silicon multijunction devices are processed. Conversion efficiencies close 15% and (Formula presented.) V are demonstrated for triple junction SHJ/nc-Si:H/a-Si:H devices. Such conversion efficiencies for a wireless, high-voltage wafer-based all-silicon 2-terminal multijunction PV device opens the way for efficient autonomous solar-to-fuel synthesis systems as well as other wireless innovative approaches in which the multijunction solar cell is used not only as a photovoltaic current-voltage generator, but also as an ion-exchange membrane, electrochemical catalysts, and/or optical transmittance filter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1409
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: research and applications
Volume30
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • amorphous silicon
  • intermediate reflective layer
  • multijunction PV
  • nanocrystalline silicon
  • silicon oxide
  • solar to fuel
  • thin film silicon
  • transparent conductive oxide
  • tunnel recombination junction

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