The Solar Cell Diary – part 1

As I have stated at the bottom of the  ‘my research‘ page, I am keenly interested in solar cell research. I thought I’d do an experiment here on my blog: I’ll report from the very cartoon on solar energy beginning about a piece of research my team are starting on solar cells and provide update on the progress: the difficulties, the issues, successes etc. I hope that those of you who read the posts, will give their views and may be even suggestions.

So, on with it!

The work: Designing a Si solar cell with a microstructure on the surface with the express intention of reducing the reflection of solar light incident.

My team and our task: is to model the reflectance and absorption of light of this solar cell. We will be looking at which microstructure gives optimal performance and searching for those design parameters. We will use the FDTD as a simulation tool to model the evolution of the light as it is made incident on the cell (and then its reflection/absorption).

The key: this work is an amalgam of experimental and theoretical approaches. My collaborators have the facilities to fabricate and experimentally characterize the solar cell. They will make the cell and introduce the microstructure, then measure the Reflectance (R),Transmittance (T) of the cell. My job will be to supply them the cell and microstructure parameters that are the most suitable.

The first challenge: The experimental characterization (measuring R and T) set up uses an ‘integrating sphere’ layout. However, the software we are using, Lumerical, does not have a measuring monitor in that configuration. So we first need to figure out how we will perform simulations that will be equivalent to the experiment my colleagues will perform. If the two are not equivalent, we cannot look for a correspondence between the results.

Together we hope to come up with designs that have higher efficiency, lower costs and are feasible to fabricate.

So, look out for future updates, do write in with your ideas/suggestions/experiences.

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3 comments on “The Solar Cell Diary – part 1

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