Special Issue "Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Allen M. Barnett

AmberWave, Inc., 45 Northwestern Drive Salem, NH 03079, United States
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Interests: creating innovative concepts for sustainable electricity generation based on rigorous, quantitative, and predictive models. Specific work includes the design, fabrication, and analysis of high-efficiency solar cells, modules, and systems; new high efficiency solar cell modules; thin crystalline silicon (20+%) and tandem solar cells on silicon (30+%)
Guest Editor
Dr. Richard Corkish

Chief Operating Officer, Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics; University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: explore life cycle assessment of different sorts of solar cells; how solar modules in stand-alone systems can benefit the lives of people in remote islands of the Pacific Ocean; impacts of light/shade on bifacial modules
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Christiana Honsberg

Professor, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
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Interests: Ultra-high efficiency solar cells; Silicon solar cells
Guest Editor
Dr. Michael Woodhouse

Golden, Colorado Laboratories and Offices, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Fundamental science of photovoltaics (PV) and solar hydrogen technologies; Economics of PV - From manufacturing to levelized cost of energy (LCOE); Manufacturing costs, systems-level installation costs and LCOE estimates for PV technologies; Capital costs and LCOE estimates for other power generating technologies, including other renewables and also the traditional sources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to submit your original research or review papers to this Special Issue on “Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells” in Applied Sciences.

This Special Issue will focus on the science and engineering of the next generations of photovoltaics.  Photovoltaics have achieved extraordinary growth over the past few decades.  This growth has been stimulated by the high performance and low cost of silicon wafer based solar cells.  Nonetheless, we are in the early stages of PV (photovoltaic) applications.

This Special issue is directed to a view beyond present products, concepts and applications. Among the areas of interest are the values of efficiency, durability, lightweight, flexibility, device integration, storage and system integration.

Some specific topics include advances in commercial Si (PERC, SHJ), III-Vs, perovskites, CdTe, CIGS, other new materials. Single junction, tandem solar cells, concentrators, new concepts and devices are welcome. Some new research areas include carrier selective contacts for Si PV, low cost III-V growth, cell interconnection, encapsulation and reliability.

Some specific new application areas include photovoltaics for lightweight industrial and commercial roofs, factory integration for increased markets and reduced kWh costs and portable (transportable) applications.  Other new areas include persistent drone aircraft and other specialty high performance requirements. Integrated systems and applications that are scalable and can be integrated are solicited. 

This Special Issue is an opportunity to describe visions as we enter a period of ubiquitous photovoltaics or photovoltaics on everything, PVOT.

Prof. Dr. Allen M. Barnett
Prof. Dr. Christiana Honsberg
Dr. Richard Corkish
Dr. Michael Woodhouse
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Next generation solar cells (improved silicon and other materials)
  • Comparison of predictive numerical models
  • Integration of PV with applications
  • Value of efficiency
  • New application areas
  • Critical technologies for advancing PV integration
  • Attributes leading to increased value
  • Portable and transportable applications
  • Beyond utility scale systems
  • Multi-TW PV Future
  • Laboratory to market
  • New PV materials

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Post-Sputtering Heat Treatments of Molybdenum on Silicon Wafer
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8091692 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigated the property evolutions of Mo thin films that were subjected to post-sputtering heat treatments from 700 °C to 1100 °C. It was found that, after annealing, the use of Si wafers eliminated crack formations found in previously reported Mo thin
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This paper investigated the property evolutions of Mo thin films that were subjected to post-sputtering heat treatments from 700 °C to 1100 °C. It was found that, after annealing, the use of Si wafers eliminated crack formations found in previously reported Mo thin films sputtered on fused silica substrates. The recrystallization of the Mo thin film was found to start at 900 °C, which led to rearrangements of the preferred crystalline orientation and enhancement of grain size when the annealing temperature was further increased. The electrical conductivity of the Mo thin films was majorly affected by the increase of Mo crystallite size as the annealing temperature was increased. Overall, the improvement of material sustainability and compatibility in the high temperature annealing process has made it positive to implement a Mo-Si contact-substrate scheme for vertical structured Si QDs solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Controlling the Transport Properties for Benzothiadiazole-Based Hole Transport Materials
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8091461
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 25 August 2018
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Abstract
Three experimental hole transport materials containing fluorine-substituted benzothiadiazole-based organic molecules (Jy5–Jy7) have been studied to explore the relationship between photoelectric performances and the core structures of hole transport materials (HTM). By employing density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT), it
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Three experimental hole transport materials containing fluorine-substituted benzothiadiazole-based organic molecules (Jy5–Jy7) have been studied to explore the relationship between photoelectric performances and the core structures of hole transport materials (HTM). By employing density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT), it was found that the substitution of the hydrogen atom by fluorine atom in the core structure can significantly boost the hole mobility; and the replacement of core structure from electron-withdrawing group to electron-donating group has strong influence on the increment of LUMO level energy, ability to preventing electron-backflow, molecular stability and oscillator strength of HTM molecules. We hope our investigation can provide theoretical guidance to reasonably optimize HTM molecules for perovskite solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of End-of-Life Silicon Solar Photovoltaic Modules
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8081396
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
The cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) waste reached 250,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2016 and is expected to increase considerably in the future. Hence, adequate end-of-life (EoL) management for PV modules must be developed. Today, most of the EoL modules go to
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The cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) waste reached 250,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2016 and is expected to increase considerably in the future. Hence, adequate end-of-life (EoL) management for PV modules must be developed. Today, most of the EoL modules go to landfill, mainly because recycling processes for PV modules are not yet economically feasible and regulation in most countries is not yet well established. Nevertheless, several methods for recycling PV modules are under development. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a methodology that quantifies the environmental impacts of a process or a product. An attributional LCA was undertaken to compare landfill, incineration, reuse and recycling (mechanical, thermal and chemical routes) of EoL crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar modules, based on a combination of real process data and assumptions. The results show that recovery of materials from solar modules results in lower environmental impacts compared to other EoL scenarios, considering our assumptions. The impacts could be even lower with the adoption of more complex processes that can reclaim more materials. Although recycling processes can achieve good recycling rates and recover almost all materials from solar modules, attention must be paid to the use of toxic substances during the chemical routes of recycling and to the distance to recycling centres due to the impacts of transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Open AccessCommunication Solution-Processed CdTe Thin-Film Solar Cells Using ZnSe Nanocrystal as a Buffer Layer
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071195
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
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Abstract
The CdTe nanocrystal (NC) is an outstanding, low-cost photovoltaic material for highly efficient solution-processed thin-film solar cells. Currently, most CdTe NC thin-film solar cells are based on CdSe, ZnO, or CdS buffer layers. In this study, a wide bandgap and Cd-free ZnSe NC
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The CdTe nanocrystal (NC) is an outstanding, low-cost photovoltaic material for highly efficient solution-processed thin-film solar cells. Currently, most CdTe NC thin-film solar cells are based on CdSe, ZnO, or CdS buffer layers. In this study, a wide bandgap and Cd-free ZnSe NC is introduced for the first time as the buffer layer for all solution-processed CdTe/ZnSe NC hetero-junction thin-film solar cells with a configuration of ITO/ZnO/ZnSe/CdTe/MoOx/Au. The dependence of the thickness of the ZnSe NC film, the annealing temperature and the chemical treatment on the performance of NC solar cells are investigated and discussed in detail. We further develop a ligand-exchanging strategy that involves 1,2-ethanedithiol (EDT) during the fabrication of ZnSe NC film. An improved power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.58% is obtained, which is increased by 16.6% when compared to a device without the EDT treatment. We believe that using ZnSe NC as the buffer layer holds the potential for developing high-efficiency, low cost, and stable CdTe NC-based solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Spectrally-Selective Energy-Harvesting Solar Windows for Public Infrastructure Applications
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(6), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8060849
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study of photovoltaic solar window technologies is reported and it focuses on their structural features, functional materials, system development, and suitability for use in practical field applications including public infrastructures and agricultural installations. Energy generation performance characteristics are summarized and compared to
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A study of photovoltaic solar window technologies is reported and it focuses on their structural features, functional materials, system development, and suitability for use in practical field applications including public infrastructures and agricultural installations. Energy generation performance characteristics are summarized and compared to theory-limit predictions. Working examples of pilot-trial solar window-based installations are described. We also report on achieving electric power outputs of about 25 Wp/m2 from clear and transparent large-area glass-based solar windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Propagation of Spectral Matching Ratios Measured Using a Calibrated Spectroradiometer
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8020186
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
The international standard IEC62670-3 (International Electrotechnical Committee) “Photovoltaic Concentrators (CPV) Performance Testing—Part 3—Performance Measurements and Power Rating” sets the guidelines for power measurements of a CPV device, both in indoor and outdoor conditions. When measuring in outdoor conditions, the acquired data have to
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The international standard IEC62670-3 (International Electrotechnical Committee) “Photovoltaic Concentrators (CPV) Performance Testing—Part 3—Performance Measurements and Power Rating” sets the guidelines for power measurements of a CPV device, both in indoor and outdoor conditions. When measuring in outdoor conditions, the acquired data have to be filtered a posteriori, in order to select only those points measured with ambient conditions close to the Concentrator Standard Operating Conditions (CSOC). The most stringent requirement to be met is related to the three Spectral Matching Ratios (SMR), which have all to be within the limit of 1.00 ± 0.03. SMR are usually determined by the ratio of the currents of component cells to monitor the outdoor spectral ratio conditions during the CPV device power measurements. Experience demonstrates that obtaining real world data meeting these strict conditions is very difficult in practice. However, increasing the acceptable range would make the entire filtering process less appropriate from a physical point of view. Given the importance of correctly measuring the SMR, an estimation of their associated measurement uncertainties is needed to allow a proper assessment of the validity of the 3% limit. In this study a Monte Carlo simulation has been used, to allow the estimation of the propagation of uncertainties in expressions having the and integral form. The method consists of applying both random and wavelength correlated errors to the measured spectra and to the measured spectral responses of the three CPV cell junctions, according to the measurement uncertainties of the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI). The experimental data used in this study have been acquired during clear sky conditions in May 2016, at ESTI’s facilities in Ispra, northern Italy (45°49′ N 8°37′ E). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Eliminating Light-Induced Degradation in Commercial p-Type Czochralski Silicon Solar Cells
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8010010
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses developments in the mitigation of light-induced degradation caused by boron-oxygen defects in boron-doped Czochralski grown silicon. Particular attention is paid to the fabrication of industrial silicon solar cells with treatments for sensitive materials using illuminated annealing. It highlights the importance
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This paper discusses developments in the mitigation of light-induced degradation caused by boron-oxygen defects in boron-doped Czochralski grown silicon. Particular attention is paid to the fabrication of industrial silicon solar cells with treatments for sensitive materials using illuminated annealing. It highlights the importance and desirability of using hydrogen-containing dielectric layers and a subsequent firing process to inject hydrogen throughout the bulk of the silicon solar cell and subsequent illuminated annealing processes for the formation of the boron-oxygen defects and simultaneously manipulate the charge states of hydrogen to enable defect passivation. For the photovoltaic industry with a current capacity of approximately 100 GW peak, the mitigation of boron-oxygen related light-induced degradation is a necessity to use cost-effective B-doped silicon while benefitting from the high-efficiency potential of new solar cell concepts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation Photovoltaic Solar Cells)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

(1)

Authors: Marina Monteiro Lunardi, Richard Corkish

Affiliations: Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia

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