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Coatings 2014, 4(1), 60-84; doi:10.3390/coatings4010060

Spray-on Thin Film PV Solar Cells: Advances, Potentials and Challenges

University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai 200240, China
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thin Film Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Abstract

The capability to fabricate photovoltaic (PV) solar cells on a large scale and at a competitive price is a milestone waiting to be achieved. Currently, such a fabrication method is lacking because the effective methods are either difficult to scale up or expensive due to the necessity for fabrication in a vacuum environment. Nevertheless, for a class of thin film solar cells, in which the solar cell materials can be processed in a solution, up scalable and vacuum-free fabrication techniques can be envisioned. In this context, all or some layers of polymer, dye-sensitized, quantum dot, and copper indium gallium selenide thin film solar cells illustrate some examples that may be processed in solution. The solution-processed materials may be transferred to the substrate by atomizing the solution and carrying the spray droplets to the substrate, a process that will form a thin film after evaporation of the solvent. Spray coating is performed at atmospheric pressure using low cost equipment with a roll-to-roll process capability, making it an attractive fabrication technique, provided that fairly uniform layers with high charge carrier separation and transport capability can be made. In this paper, the feasibility, the recent advances and challenges of fabricating spray-on thin film solar cells, the dynamics of spray and droplet impaction on the substrate, the photo-induced electron transfer in spray-on solar cells, the challenges on characterization and simulation, and the commercialization status of spray-on solar cells are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaic solar cells; solution-processed thin film solar cells; polymer solar cells; quantum dot solar cells; dye-sensitized solar cells; organic solar cells; spray coating; spray-on solar cells; spray painting photovoltaic solar cells; solution-processed thin film solar cells; polymer solar cells; quantum dot solar cells; dye-sensitized solar cells; organic solar cells; spray coating; spray-on solar cells; spray painting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Eslamian, M. Spray-on Thin Film PV Solar Cells: Advances, Potentials and Challenges. Coatings 2014, 4, 60-84.

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