Polymer/Nanostructured Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

::Download Scientific Description::  ::Project Researchers and Highly Qualified Personnel::  ::Project Progress Summary::  ::Project Scientific Progress::  Compared to leading thin-film candidates (CdTe and CIGS) silicon is both non-toxic and abundant. It then seems clear that a viable thin-film silicon alternative to these technologies would be ideal. We propose that such an alternative can be achieved through the nano-structuring of crystalline Si thin films. The Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) technique developed by Michael Brett’s group at the University of Alberta offers a way to achieve the required nano-structuring.

Group Photo for PROJECT6

pictured: Professor Steven McGarry (Co-Investigator, CarletonUniversity)

We further propose that the conductive organic polymer PEDOT can be used to form high-quality hetero-junctions to the nanostructured Si for collection of photo-generated carriers. PEDOT is attractive since it can be deposited at low temperature, preserving the nanostructure of the substrate. The intended final result is an efficient, inexpensive nanostructured Si thin film solar cell competitive with CdTe and CIGS.



Figure: Branching “nano-trees” created using GLAD technique at The University of Alberta and Carleton University.



Figure: Students working with a Varian 2000 silicon sputter deposition system at Carleton University under the supervision of Dr.Garry Tarr for Project 06. This system is capable of depositing Si nanotubes.

Figure: Alberta PhD student Allan Beaudry preparing nanostructured thin films by Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) in the University of Alberta Nanofabrication Facility.


Figure: Carleton MASc student Lloyd Duma examining heterostructure carbon nanotube/silicon diodes in Carleton University’s Microfabrication Facility.


Figure: Carleton PhD student Svetlana Demtchenko testing heterojunction diodes in Carleton University’s Polymer Electronics Laboratory.