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Materials 2015, 8(11), 7663-7672; doi:10.3390/ma8115399

Enhanced Erbium-Doped Ceria Nanostructure Coating to Improve Solar Cell Performance

1
Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University, 302 Whittemore Hall, VA 24061, USA
2
Department of Engineering Mathematics and Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Elhadara, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
3
Center of Smart Nanotechnology and Photonics (CSNP), Smart Critical Infrastructure (SmartCI) Research Center, Alexandria University, Elhadara, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
4
School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ, UK
5
Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Elhadara, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
6
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Elhadara, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joshua M. Pearce
Received: 25 September 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Materials and Electronic Devices)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2979 KB, uploaded 13 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

This paper discusses the effect of adding reduced erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles (REDC NPs) as a coating on silicon solar cells. Reduced ceria nanoparticles doped with erbium have the advantages of both improving conductivity and optical conversion of solar cells. Oxygen vacancies in ceria nanoparticles reduce Ce4+ to Ce3+ which follow the rule of improving conductivity of solar cells through the hopping mechanism. The existence of Ce3+ helps in the down-conversion from 430 nm excitation to 530 nm emission. The erbium dopant forms energy levels inside the low-phonon ceria host to up-convert the 780 nm excitations into green and red emissions. When coating reduced erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles on the back side of a solar cell, a promising improvement in the solar cell efficiency has been observed from 15% to 16.5% due to the mutual impact of improved electric conductivity and multi-optical conversions. Finally, the impact of the added coater on the electric field distribution inside the solar cell has been studied. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceria nanoparticles; erbium dopant; up-conversion; conductivity; solar cells ceria nanoparticles; erbium dopant; up-conversion; conductivity; solar cells
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shehata, N.; Clavel, M.; Meehan, K.; Samir, E.; Gaballah, S.; Salah, M. Enhanced Erbium-Doped Ceria Nanostructure Coating to Improve Solar Cell Performance. Materials 2015, 8, 7663-7672.

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