This is the final report that discusses the project results and lessons learnt to date for the UNSW Project, Integrating Industrial Black Silicon with High Efficiency Multicrystalline Solar Cells.
Black silicon is a surface texturing technology which can be applied to the sun-facing side of solar cells to improve their output power. It gets its name from its appearance which is extremely dark to the viewer due to the high absorption of light at all wavelengths. Whilst it performs well optically, the complex surface topography presents many challenges when integrating with electrical devices such as solar cells. This project brought together a consortium of industry and academic institutes to address this issue through fundamental studies, production line process optimization and via the development of novel measurement techniques. Work has focused on how black silicon can be measured, how it can be processed into working devices, and how it can be modelled with computer software. The original aim of this work was to enable higher efficiency multi-crystalline silicon solar cells which are cheaper to make. Black silicon was investigated to address the poor front surface optical properties of such devices. However, the work completed is also applicable to other future applications of black silicon such as in silicon detectors, retinal implants, and light emitting diodes.