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The Impact of Graphene on the Fabrication of Thin Film Solar Cells: Current Status and Future Prospects

Nanotechnology and MEMS Laboratory, Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME), University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
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Materials 2018, 11(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11010036
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene/Carbon Nanotubes Application in Solar Cells)
Commercial solar cells have a power conversion efficiency (PCE) in the range of 10–22% with different light absorbers. Graphene, with demonstrated unique structural, physical, and electrical properties, is expected to bring the positive effects on the development of thin film solar cells. Investigations have been carried out to understand whether graphene can be used as a front and back contacts and active interfacial layer in solar cell fabrication. In this review, the current progress of this research is analyzed, starting from the graphene and graphene-based Schottky diode. Also, the discussion was focused on the progress of graphene-incorporated thin film solar cells that were fabricated with different light absorbers, in particular, the synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of devices. The effect of doping and layer thickness of graphene on PCE was also included. Currently, the PCE of graphene-incorporated bulk-heterojunction devices have enhanced in the range of 0.5–3%. However, device durability and cost-effectiveness are also the challenging factors for commercial production of graphene-incorporated solar cells. In addition to the application of graphene, graphene oxides have been also used in perovskite solar cells. The current needs and likely future investigations for graphene-incorporated solar cells are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; thin film solar cell; efficiency; top contacts; back contacts graphene; thin film solar cell; efficiency; top contacts; back contacts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shi, Z.; Jayatissa, A.H. The Impact of Graphene on the Fabrication of Thin Film Solar Cells: Current Status and Future Prospects. Materials 2018, 11, 36.

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