Special Issue "Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "C:Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ruxandra Vidu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California Davis, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Tel. +1(916) 792 6272
Interests: nanotechnology; thin films; surface modification; nanoarchitecture; electrochemical template synthesis; photovoltaics; renewable energy; energy storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The search for new materials, new processes and new material designs for high efficiency light harvesting, trapping and conversion to electricity has become the biggest challenge of the century. Synergistic relationships between materials science, chemistry, physics, electric, electronic and optics have contributed to the extraordinary growth in the field of nanomaterials for photovoltaic applications. In particular, nanostructured photovoltaics have already proven rapid developments and are marked to revolutionize our everyday life. The exciting developments in the field of the light trapping features of nanostructures and solar cell nano-engineered architecture present challenges with unique opportunities to explore new ideas regarding nanostructure integration into photovoltaics.

In this Special Issue of Micromachines we invite contributions on the latest developments on nanostructured photovoltaics with improved efficiency from all types of solar cells employing nanostructures, low dimensionality features and emerging technologies in nano-integration. We would like to open the discussions for future directions and challenges in the development of nanostructured photovoltaic devices.

Dr. Ruxandra Vidu
Guest Editor

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. Micromachines 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

  • Nanotechnology
  • Photovoltaics
  • Silicon
  • Thin films solar cells
  • Multijunction solar cells
  • Nanostructures
  • Low dimensionalities
  • Quantum dots
  • Quantum well superlattice
  • Plasmonic nanostructures
  • Nanowires
  • Nanotubes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Light trapping
  • Multi-exciton solar cells
  • Hot carrier
  • Si quantum dot tandem cells
  • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Perovskite
  • Nanopatterned solar cells

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Efficiencies of Perovskite Solar Cells by Incorporating Silver Nanowires into the Hole Transport Layer
Micromachines 2019, 10(10), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10100682 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this study, we incorporated silver nanowires (AgNWs) into poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) as a hole transport layer (HTL) for inverted perovskite solar cells (PVSCs). The effect of AgNW incorporation on the perovskite crystallization, charge transfer, and power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PVSCs were [...] Read more.
In this study, we incorporated silver nanowires (AgNWs) into poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) as a hole transport layer (HTL) for inverted perovskite solar cells (PVSCs). The effect of AgNW incorporation on the perovskite crystallization, charge transfer, and power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PVSCs were analyzed and discussed. Compared with neat PEDOT:PSS HTL, incorporation of few AgNWs into PEDOT:PSS can significantly enhance the PCE by 25%. However, the AgNW incorporation may result in performance overestimation due to the lateral charge transfer. The corrosion of AgNWs with a perovskite layer was discussed. Too much AgNW incorporation may lead to defects on the interface between the HTL and the perovskite layer. An extra PEDOT:PSS layer over the pristine PEDOT:PSS-AgNW layer can prevent AgNWs from corrosion by iodide ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of an Efficient Planar Organic-Silicon Hybrid Solar Cell with a 150 nm Thick Film of PEDOT: PSS
Micromachines 2019, 10(10), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10100648 - 26 Sep 2019
Abstract
Organic–inorganic hybrid solar cells composed of p-type conducting polymer poly (3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene): polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT: PSS) and n-type silicon (Si) have gained considerable interest in recent years. From this viewpoint, we present an efficient hybrid solar cell based on PEDOT: PSS and the planar Si [...] Read more.
Organic–inorganic hybrid solar cells composed of p-type conducting polymer poly (3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene): polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT: PSS) and n-type silicon (Si) have gained considerable interest in recent years. From this viewpoint, we present an efficient hybrid solar cell based on PEDOT: PSS and the planar Si substrate (1 0 0) with the simplest and cost-effective experimental procedures. We study and optimize the thickness of the PEDOT: PSS film to improve the overall performance of the device. We also study the effect of ethylene glycol (EG) by employing a different wt % as a solvent in the PEDOT: PSS to improve the device’s performance. Silver (Ag) was deposited by electron beam evaporation as the front and rear contacts for the solar cell device. The whole fabrication process was completed in less than three hours. A power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 5.1%, an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 598 mV, and a fill factor (FF) of 58% were achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis and Optimization of a Microchannel Heat Sink with V-Ribs Using Nanofluids for Micro Solar Cells
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090620 - 17 Sep 2019
Abstract
It is crucial to control the temperature of solar cells for enhancing efficiency with the increasing power intensity of multiple photovoltaic systems. In order to improve the heat transfer efficiency, a microchannel heat sink (MCHS) with V-ribs using a water-based nanofluid as a [...] Read more.
It is crucial to control the temperature of solar cells for enhancing efficiency with the increasing power intensity of multiple photovoltaic systems. In order to improve the heat transfer efficiency, a microchannel heat sink (MCHS) with V-ribs using a water-based nanofluid as a coolant for micro solar cells was designed. Numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the flows and heat transfers in the MCHS when the Reynolds number ranges from 200 to 1000. The numerical results showed that the periodically arranged V-ribs can interrupt the thermal boundary, induce chaotic convection, increase heat transfer area, and subsequently improve the heat transfer performance of a MCHS. In addition, the preferential values of the geometric parameters of V-ribs and the physical parameters of the nanofluid were obtained on the basis of the Nusselt numbers at identical pump power. For MCHS with V-ribs on both the top and bottom wall, preferential values of V-rib are rib width d / W = 1 , flare angle α = 75 ° , rib height h r / H = 0.3 , and ratio of two slant sides b / a = 0.75 , respectively. This can provide sound foundations for the design of a MCHS in micro solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Low Conductivity Decay of Sn–0.7Cu–0.2Zn Photovoltaic Ribbons for Solar Cell Application
Micromachines 2019, 10(8), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10080550 - 19 Aug 2019
Abstract
The present study applied Sn–0.7Cu–0.2Zn alloy solders to a photovoltaic ribbon. Intermetallic compounds of Cu6Sn5 and Ag3Sn formed at the Cu/solder/Ag interfaces of the module after reflow. Electron probe microanalyzer images showed that a Cu–Zn solid-solution layer (Zn [...] Read more.
The present study applied Sn–0.7Cu–0.2Zn alloy solders to a photovoltaic ribbon. Intermetallic compounds of Cu6Sn5 and Ag3Sn formed at the Cu/solder/Ag interfaces of the module after reflow. Electron probe microanalyzer images showed that a Cu–Zn solid-solution layer (Zn accumulation layer) existed at the Cu/solder interface. After a 72 h current stress, no detectable amounts of Cu6Sn5 were found. However, a small increase in Ag3Sn was found. Compared with a Sn–0.7Cu photovoltaic module, the increase of the intermetallic compounds thickness in the Sn–0.7Cu–0.2Zn photovoltaic module was much smaller. A retard in the growth of the intermetallic compounds caused the series resistance of the module to slightly increase by 9%. A Zn accumulation layer formed at the module interfaces by adding trace Zn to the Sn–0.7Cu solder, retarding the growth of the intermetallic compounds and thus enhancing the lifetime of the photovoltaic module. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanostructured Fe,Co-Codoped MoO3 Thin Films
Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10020138 - 20 Feb 2019
Abstract
Molybdenum oxide (MoO3) and Fe,Co-codoped MoO3 thin films obtained by spray pyrolysis have been in-depth investigated to understand the effect of Co and Fe codoping on MoO3 thin films. The effect of Fe and Co on the structural, morphological [...] Read more.
Molybdenum oxide (MoO3) and Fe,Co-codoped MoO3 thin films obtained by spray pyrolysis have been in-depth investigated to understand the effect of Co and Fe codoping on MoO3 thin films. The effect of Fe and Co on the structural, morphological and optical properties of MoO3 thin films have been studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX), optical and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and electropyroelectric methods. The XRD patterns demonstrated the formation of orthorhombic α-MoO3 by spray pyrolysis. SEM characterization has shown an increase in roughness of MoO3 thin films by Fe and Co doping. Optical reflectance and transmittance measurements have shown an increase in optical band gap with the increase in Fe and Co contents. Thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of Fe,Co-doped MoO3 were 24.10–25.86 Wm−1K−1 and 3.80 × 10−6–5.15 × 10−6 m2s−1, respectively. MoO3 thin films have shown PL emission. Doping MoO3 with Fe and Co increases emission in the visible range due to an increase number of chemisorbed oxygen atoms. The photodegradation of an aqueous solution of methylene blue (MB) depended on the content of the codoping elements (Fe,Co). The results showed that a degradation efficiency of 90% was observed after 60 min for MoO3: Fe 2%-Co 1%, while the degradation efficiency was about 35% for the undoped MoO3 thin film. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nanostructures for Light Trapping in Thin Film Solar Cells
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090619 - 17 Sep 2019
Abstract
Thin film solar cells are one of the important candidates utilized to reduce the cost of photovoltaic production by minimizing the usage of active materials. However, low light absorption due to low absorption coefficient and/or insufficient active layer thickness can limit the performance [...] Read more.
Thin film solar cells are one of the important candidates utilized to reduce the cost of photovoltaic production by minimizing the usage of active materials. However, low light absorption due to low absorption coefficient and/or insufficient active layer thickness can limit the performance of thin film solar cells. Increasing the absorption of light that can be converted into electrical current in thin film solar cells is crucial for enhancing the overall efficiency and in reducing the cost. Therefore, light trapping strategies play a significant role in achieving this goal. The main objectives of light trapping techniques are to decrease incident light reflection, increase the light absorption, and modify the optical response of the device for use in different applications. Nanostructures utilize key sets of approaches to achieve these objectives, including gradual refractive index matching, and coupling incident light into guided modes and localized plasmon resonances, as well as surface plasmon polariton modes. In this review, we discuss some of the recent developments in the design and implementation of nanostructures for light trapping in solar cells. These include the development of solar cells containing photonic and plasmonic nanostructures. The distinct benefits and challenges of these schemes are also explained and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Photovoltaic Devices)
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