Periodic nano/micro-hole array silicon solar cell
© Lai et al.; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 30 June 2014
Accepted: 20 November 2014
Published: 3 December 2014
In this study, we applied a metal catalyst etching method to fabricate a nano/microhole array on a Si substrate for application in solar cells. In addition, the surface of an undesigned area was etched because of the attachment of metal nanoparticles that is dissociated in a solution. The nano/microhole array exhibited low specular reflectance (<1%) without antireflection coating because of its rough surface. The solar spectrum related total reflection was approximately 9%. A fabricated solar cell with a 40-μm hole spacing exhibited an efficiency of 9.02%. Comparing to the solar cell made by polished Si, the external quantum efficiency for solar cell with 30 s etching time was increased by 16.7%.
KeywordsMetal catalyst Nano/microhole Si array Reflectance Efficiency
Previous studies have reported that nanostructure surfaces can efficiently couple incident light into semiconductors [1–3]. Efficient light harvesting is vital for solar cells [4, 5]. In addition to light coupling, efficient carrier transport in a nanowire structure has been suggested to increase the short-circuit current [6–8]. Therefore, several studies on solar cells have employed nanostructures to enhance performance [9–15]. The difficulty in establishing contact in nanostructures limits progress. In one study, a conducting polymer was adopted because it easily filled the space between nanostructures, enabling high efficiency to be achieved . Creating microholes might be an appropriate approach ; however, using microholes may cause the advantages of light harvesting to be lost. In this study, we propose a microhole array structure to facilitate fabrication by implementing metal catalyst etching. Inside the hole, we spontaneously produced a nanowire array to achieve low reflectance. The optical reflectance of nano/microhole arrays with various spacings was evaluated. A solar cell was manufactured using this structure to demonstrate the possibility of attaining high efficiency.
A 10-μm-deep microhole after being etched for 15 min is illustrated in the cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image shown in Figure 1c. As shown in Figure 1c, the diameter of the hole is 10 μm. Inside the hole, Si nanowires were clearly observed. After being etched, the Ag was removed using a HCl/HNO3 (3:1 (v/v)) mixed solution. The structure was named ‘nano/microhole array.’ The n + emitter in a solar cell was fabricated by spraying H3PO4 onto a p-Si wafer and then annealing the sample in a furnace at 900°C for 30 min . The doping concentration of phosphorus was calculated by converting the resistivity of Si into carrier concentration, in which the resistivity of Si was measured by a spreading resistance profiler. By doping concentration profile, the phosphorus diffuse into Si around 0.2 μm. The solar cells were then implemented by depositing top and bottom electrodes. The area of the solar cell was 1.0 cm2.
Results and discussion
where I(λ) is the wavelength-dependent solar irradiance.
The photovoltaic parameters for the nano/micro hole array Si solar cell with different etching times
Etching time (min)
The depth of hole at specific etching time and the corresponding wavelength with the same absorption depth
Etching Time (min)
In this study, we demonstrated the formation of a nano/microhole array in Si by using a simple metal-catalyst etching method. The specular reflectance of this structure can be as low as 1%. The solar spectrum-related total reflection was approximately 9% for the 40-μm spacing sample. Efficiency of 9.02% was achieved by using this nano/microhole array without a surface passivation layer.
We thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan for the financial support under grant NSC 102-2221-E-005-087.
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