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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of NSW

    Location

    New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Australian Solar Institute

  • Start Date

    March 2012

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    None
    This solar PV project was completed on 9 September 2015.

Summary

The Demonstrate Higher Efficiency Third Generation Photovoltaics project aims to increase the efficiency of one type of third generation solar cell by increasing the number of layers of nanoscopic silicon crystals (silicon nanocrystals or Si NC) in silicon oxide and silicon nitride.

Need

Researchers around the world are exploring ways to improve the viability of third generation photovoltaic solar cells. These devices have the potential to deliver higher efficiencies (that is, produce more electricity from the same amount of sunlight) at the same low cost as second generation thin film technology.

Project innovation

The Demonstrate Higher Efficiency Third Generation Photovoltaics project aims to increase the efficiency of one type of third generation solar cell by increasing the number of layers of nanoscopic silicon crystals (silicon nanocrystals or Si NC) in silicon oxide and silicon nitride.

It builds on prior work of the University of NSW and Germany’s University of Freiburg that shows that the use of Si NCs in solar cell structures can have a rectifying behaviour if embedded in a very thin shell of oxide and nitride.

In conventional solar cells, so-called dopants provide the means of collecting the electric current. However, these also slow down transport of the current whereby energy is lost as heat.

The new solar cell structure based on Si NCs in oxide and nitride does not require dopants which eliminates this loss mechanism.

The project brings together the technological effort of three distinguished German solar and nanostructure research institutes, with the expertise in theory and characterisation work in third generation photovoltaic devices of the University of NSW.

Benefit

This will be the first photovoltaic solar cell of its kind to be demonstrated and if successful will help bring the technology further along the path to commercialisation.

Last updated
29 January 2021
Last updated 29 January 2021
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