We propose a novel solar cell structure with photonic nanocrystals coupled to quantum dots (QDs) for advanced management of photons and carriers. The photonic nanocrystals at the surface create an extra interaction between the photons and the QDs, which promotes light trapping. Photo-generated carriers can be efficiently transported by preparing vertically aligned QDs with electronic coupling. Implementation of the proposed structure was realized in crystalline Si solar cells with Ge QDs by development of a simple and practical formation method based on a wet chemical process without any lithography techniques. The wet process utilizes a periodically modulated etching rate induced by self-organized Ge QDs. The effectiveness of the proposed solar cell was demonstrated by the marked increase of the absolute conversion efficiency when compared with the control crystalline Si solar cells. It is found that light trapping by the photonic nanocrystals has a larger contribution to the efficiency improvement than the contributions from the carrier transport of the vertically aligned QDs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering