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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8060357

Lanthanide-Doped Ceria Nanoparticles as Backside Coaters to Improve Silicon Solar Cell Efficiency

1
Electrical Engineering Department, College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University, Safat 13133, Kuwait
2
Center of Smart Nanotechnology and Photonics (CSNP), SmartCI Research Center, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
3
Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
4
Department of Engineering Mathematics and Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
5
USTAR Bioinnovation Center, Faculty of Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84341, USA
6
Kuwait College of Science and Technology (KCST), Doha Spur Rd., Safat 13133, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract

This paper introduces lanthanide-doped ceria nanoparticles as silicon solar cell back-side coaters, showing their influence on the solar cell efficiency. Ceria nanoparticles can be synthesized to have formed oxygen vacancies (O-vacancies), which are associated with converting cerium ions from the Ce4+ state ions to the Ce3+ ones. These O-vacancies follow the rule of improving silicon solar cell conductivity through a hopping mechanism. Besides, under near-ultra violet (near-UV) excitation, the reduced trivalent cerium Ce3+ ions are directly responsible for down converting the un-absorbed UV wavelengths to a resultant green photo-luminescence emission at ~520 nm, which is absorbed through the silicon solar cell’s active layer. Adding lanthanide elements such as Neodymium “Nd” as ceria nanoparticle dopants helps in forming extra oxygen vacancies (O-vacancies), followed by an increase in the number of Ce4+ to Ce3+ ion reductions, thus enhancing the conductivity and photoluminescence down conversion mechanisms. After introducing lanthanide-doped ceria nanoparticles on a silicon solar cell surface, a promising enhancement in the behavior of the solar cell current-voltage curve is observed, and the efficiency is improved by about 25% of its initial value due to the mutual impact of improving both electric conductivity and optical conversions. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar cells; ceria nanoparticles; lanthanide doped; conductivity; photoluminescence intensity solar cells; ceria nanoparticles; lanthanide doped; conductivity; photoluminescence intensity
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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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Hajjiah, A.; Samir, E.; Shehata, N.; Salah, M. Lanthanide-Doped Ceria Nanoparticles as Backside Coaters to Improve Silicon Solar Cell Efficiency. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 357.

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