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Research: Next-Generation Photovoltaic Technologies

Enabling efficient photovoltaics from earth-abundant materials

Folded active layers allow for good light collection from low-cost and unconventional materials
Folded active layers allow for good light collection from low-cost and unconventional materials.

Researchers at Argonne are pursuing a solar cell in which inorganic layers are effectively folded over a porous template to form a highly structured array.   This design has the potential to enable a variety of low-cost and earth-abundant materials to be utilized in high efficiency photovoltaics.

The intricate geometry is accomplished by a unique, gas-phase growth method that deposits one atomic layer at a time.  When performed in rapid succession, a multitude of conformal coatings may be applied over the most complex templates.  This method allows the total solar cell thickness to be tuned for ample light collection, while independently controlling each layer’s thickness to ensure optimal device performance.

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March 2010

Contact

Alex Martinson
amartinson@anl.gov

Jeff Elam
jelam@anl.gov

 

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