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Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2024) | Viewed by 6088

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Materials Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, University of Rzeszów, 35-310 Rzeszów, Poland
Interests: development and applications of thin film solar cells; PVD technology; characterization of PV cells and devices; flexible organic semiconductors; green energy systems and energy management; technology transfer and startups development; clusters
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Institute of Materials Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, University of Rzeszów, 35-310 Rzeszów, Poland
Interests: development and applications of green energy systems including photovoltaic systems; material and technology research of thin-film polycrystalline heterojunction solar cells; measurements and characterization of PV cells and devices; PVD technology; flexible organic semiconductors
Physics and Chemistry of Solids Department, Physical-Technical Faculty, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, 76018 Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
Interests: semiconductor material science; thin films; carrier scattering; band structure; nanoinclusions; surface; renewable energy; photovoltaic; thermoelectricity
Physics and Chemistry of Solids Department, Physical-Technical Faculty, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, 76018 Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
Interests: technology of obtaining thin films; solar cells; semiconductors; optical properties; morphology; materials science; nanowire; simulation; renewable energy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Guest Editors are inviting submissions for a Special Issue of Materials on the subject area of “Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures”.

Photovoltaic devices are important renewable energy resources with the potential to solve the global energy crises. Their use could reduce the consumption of fossil fuels for producing electricity. The basic advantages of solar cells are the availability of solar radiation energy, that they have no negative impact on the environment, they are long-lasting and energy is produced at the production site.

Currently, silicon solar cells are the most popular devices for converting light energy to electricity, but thin-film solar cells comprise competitive, efficient, and cheap photovoltaic devices and are expected to replace traditional Si panels in the future.

Thin-film solar cells have many advantages compared with traditional silicon photovoltaic devices. A main advantage of thin-film solar cells is their thickness. The layers are up to 200 times thinner than the layers of traditional silicon solar cells. Thin-film solar cells have great potential to reduce both their material consumption and production costs. They are lighter in weight so they can be deposited on flexible substrates and integrated with many devices.

Therefore, we welcome review and research papers on the development of thin-film photovoltaic materials and solar cells. Suitable topics include experimental and theoretical findings related to thin-film photovoltaic materials, structures, devices, fabrication techniques and characterization.

The scope of the Special Issue includes but is not limited to:

  • Thin-film solar cells
  • Perovskites and Perovskite Solar Cells
  • Nano-structured PV cells
  • Quantum dot solar cells
  • Organic PV materials and devices
  • New materials for photovoltaic structures
  • New concepts and device architectures for next generation solar cells
  • Nanotechnology for improvement of PV devices
  • New materials and contact concepts

Dr. Grzegorz Wisz
Dr. Paulina Sawicka-Chudy
Prof. Dr. Lyubomyr Nykyruy
Dr. Rostyslav Yavorskyi
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2600 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

  • photovoltaic
  • thin-film solar cells
  • device physics of solar cells
  • materials structure and layers for solar cells
  • PV devices
  • efficiency and time stability of photovoltaic structures

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 6557 KiB  
Article
Laser-Induced Backward Transfer of Light Reflecting Zinc Patterns on Glass for High Performance Photovoltaic Modules
Materials 2023, 16(24), 7538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16247538 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Commercially available photovoltaic (PV) modules typically consist of individual silicon half-cut cells that are electrically interconnected. This interconnection method results in gaps between the cells, which do not contribute to the overall PV output power. One approach to enhance the cell-to-module power ratio [...] Read more.
Commercially available photovoltaic (PV) modules typically consist of individual silicon half-cut cells that are electrically interconnected. This interconnection method results in gaps between the cells, which do not contribute to the overall PV output power. One approach to enhance the cell-to-module power ratio is the placement of white, diffuse reflecting plastic material within these gaps. Conventionally, the process of generating reflective patterns involves several discrete steps, including film deposition, resist patterning, etching, and resist stripping. This study presents an innovative single-step procedure for the direct deposition of zinc reflective patterns onto glass substrates using laser-induced backward transfer (LIBT) and a nanosecond pulsed laser system. The process successfully produced lines and squares, demonstrating its versatility in achieving diverse geometric patterns under ambient atmospheric pressure and room temperature conditions. The evaluation of the transferred patterns included an examination of geometric dimensions and surface morphology using a 3D microscope and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis at the air/Zn interface. Additionally, the thickness of the zinc film and its adhesion to the glass substrate were quantified. The angular reflectance at a wavelength of 660 nm for both the glass/Zn and air/Zn interfaces was measured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures)
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13 pages, 1204 KiB  
Article
Modeling of Charge Injection, Recombination, and Diffusion in Complete Perovskite Solar Cells on Short Time Scales
Materials 2023, 16(22), 7110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16227110 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 911
Abstract
A model of charge population decay upon ultrafast optical pulse excitation in complete, working perovskite solar cells is proposed. The equation, including charge injections (extractions) from perovskite to contact materials, charge diffusion, and charge recombination via first-, second-, and third-order processes, is solved [...] Read more.
A model of charge population decay upon ultrafast optical pulse excitation in complete, working perovskite solar cells is proposed. The equation, including charge injections (extractions) from perovskite to contact materials, charge diffusion, and charge recombination via first-, second-, and third-order processes, is solved using numerical simulations. Results of simulations are positively verified by broadband transient absorption results of mixed halide, triple-cation perovskite (FA0.76MA0.19Cs0.05Pb(I0.81Br0.19)3). The combined analytical and experimental findings reveal the best approaches for the proper determination of the crucial parameters that govern charge transfer dynamics in perovskite solar cells on picosecond and single nanosecond time scales. Measurements from both electron and hole transporting layer sides under different applied bias potentials (zero and close to open circuit potential) and different pump fluence (especially below 5 μJ/cm2), followed by fitting of parameters using numerical modeling, are proposed as the optimal methodology for describing the processes taking place in efficient devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures)
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15 pages, 4620 KiB  
Article
Formation and Characterization of Stable TiO2/CuxO-Based Solar Cells
Materials 2023, 16(16), 5683; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16165683 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
According to increasing demand for energy, PV cells seem to be one of the best answers for human needs. Considering features such as availability, low production costs, high stability, etc., metal oxide semiconductors (MOS) are a focus of attention for many scientists. Amongst [...] Read more.
According to increasing demand for energy, PV cells seem to be one of the best answers for human needs. Considering features such as availability, low production costs, high stability, etc., metal oxide semiconductors (MOS) are a focus of attention for many scientists. Amongst MOS, TiO2 and CuxO seem to be promising materials for obtaining an effective photoconversion effect. In this paper, specific investigation, aimed at the manufacturing of the complete photovoltaic structure based on this concept is described in detail. A set of samples manufactured by DC magnetron sputtering, with various process parameters, is characterized by morphology comparison, layer structure and material composition investigation, and finally by the obtained photovoltaic parameters. Based on SEM studies, it was established that the films are deposited uniformly and complete their formation; without clearly defined faces, the conglomerates of the film grow individually. These are areas with a uniform structure and orientation of atoms. The sizes of conglomerates are in a normal direction range from 20 to 530 nm and increase with film thickness. The film thickness was in the range from 318 to 1654 nm, respectively. The I-V study confirms the photovoltaic behavior of thin film solar cells. The open-circuit voltage (Voc) and short-circuit current density (Jsc) values of the photovoltaic devices ranged from 1.5 to 300 mV and from 0.45 to 7.26 µA/cm3, respectively, which corresponds to the maximum efficiency at the level of 0.01%. Specific analysis of the junction operation on the basis of characteristics flow, Rs, and Rsh values is delivered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures)
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9 pages, 7064 KiB  
Article
Polyethylene Protective Coating with Anti-Reflective Properties for Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
Materials 2023, 16(11), 4004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16114004 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 732
Abstract
The aim of the study was to find the effect of polyethylene (PE) coatings on the short-circuit current of silicon photovoltaic cells covered with glass, in order to improve the short-circuit current of the cells. Various combinations of PE films (thicknesses ranging from [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to find the effect of polyethylene (PE) coatings on the short-circuit current of silicon photovoltaic cells covered with glass, in order to improve the short-circuit current of the cells. Various combinations of PE films (thicknesses ranging from 9 to 23 µm, number of layers ranging from two to six) with glasses (greenhouse, float, optiwhite and acrylic glass) were investigated. The best current gain of 4.05% was achieved for the coating combining a 1.5 mm thick acrylic glass with 2 × 12 µm thick PE films. This effect can be related to the formation of an array of micro-wrinkles and micrometer-sized air bubbles with a diameter of 50 to 600 µm in the films, which served as micro-lenses and enhanced light trapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures)
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Review

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20 pages, 3131 KiB  
Review
Review of Luminescence-Based Light Spectrum Modifications Methods and Materials for Photovoltaics Applications
Materials 2023, 16(8), 3112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16083112 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
The dynamic development of photovoltaic and photo-sensitive electronic devices is constantly stimulated by material and technological advances. One of the key concepts that is highly recommended for the enhancement of these device parameters is the modification of the insulation spectrum. Practical implementation of [...] Read more.
The dynamic development of photovoltaic and photo-sensitive electronic devices is constantly stimulated by material and technological advances. One of the key concepts that is highly recommended for the enhancement of these device parameters is the modification of the insulation spectrum. Practical implementation of this idea, although difficult, may be highly beneficial for photoconversion efficiency, photosensitivity range extension, and their cost reduction. The article presents a wide range of practical experiments leading to the manufacturing of functional photoconverting layers, dedicated to low-cost and wide-scale deposition methods. Various active agents, based on different luminescence effects as well as the possible organic carrier matrixes, substrate preparation and treatment procedures, are presented. New innovative materials, based on their quantum effects, are examined. The obtained results are discussed in terms of the application in new generation photovoltaics and other optoelectronic elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Cell Materials and Structures)
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