In this collaboration, we will examine the use of thin coatings to improve optical, electrical and mechanical performance in thin film solar cells.
Our initial focus will be on the design of nanostructured amorphous oxide thin film coatings for enhanced performance in amorphous silicon and germanium cells and copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) solar cells. Full wave electromagnetic simulations will be used to design nanoscale light trapping structures for enhanced solar absorption. Nanostructured printed films of >4 cm2 will be fabricated using nanoimprint lithography. Enhanced absorption will be characterized using angle-dependent spectral response measurements, light I-V and efficiency measurements.
For investigation of the mechanical properties, the main focus of the proposed work is to develop and characterize the dielectric layer. Finite Element Modeling (FEM) will be employed to create virtual patterns in the passivation layer with realistic stiffnesses, and inputs into the models will be experimentally determined parameters generated by nanoindentation and wafer curvature techniques.