Novel Electron and Hole Transport Layers by Atomic Layer Deposition Technique for Perovskite Silicon Tandem Solar Cells


Project Description

The atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique is an efficient technique to deposit thin films at low temperature, which is based on self-limiting surface reactions by exposing sequentially on the substrate with various precursors and reactants. It provides excellent control over film thickness at the angstrom or monolayer level and deposition on high aspect ratio nano andmicrostructures with excellent step coverage. To exploit these advantages, we are employing ALD deposited electron and hole transport layers on randomly textured silicon wafers. In this project, to increase the light coupling in the tandem solar cells, the deposition of the broadband transparent electron and hole transport layers will be performed by the ALD technique. The candidate will gain experience on the structural, optical and electrical and characterization of the thin films by optimizing the deposition recipes. Moreover, the candidate will have experience in the fabrication and characterization of the perovskite solar cells and will have an opportunity to experience the fabrication of perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. Why Silicon/Perovskite Tandems?The current global photovoltaics market (nowadays taken for more than 90% by crystalline silicon solar cells) has seen a sustained growth of its production capacity by more than 20% annually [1]. From a longer-term perspective, the market is expected to make a transition towards ultra-high efficiencies. For this, further efficiency improvement s will be needed, beyond the single-junction efficiency limit of silicon [2].  The most straight-forward way to do so is in the form of a silicon-based tandem solar cell, where a wider-bandgap top cell overlays the silicon bottom cell. In perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells, the perovskite top cell efficiently harvests the blue part of the solar spectrum, while transmitting the red part, which is absorbed in the silicon bottom cell. In this way, the tandems can overcome the single-junction efficiency limit of silicon solar cells. References[1] Haegel, Nancy M., et al. "Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Trajectories and challenges." Science 356.6334 (2017): 141-143. [2] Richter, A., Hermle, M., & Glunz, S. W. (2013). "Reassessment of the limiting efficiency for crystalline silicon solar cells." IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 3(4), 1184-1191.​​​
Program - Materials Science & Engineering
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - KAUST Solar Center
Field of Study - ​Solar Cells

About the

Stefaan De Wolf

Associate Professor, Material Science and Engineering

Stefaan De Wolf
​Stefaan De Wolf's expertise lies in the science and technology of photovoltaics for terrestrial applications. His research focuses on the fabrication of high-efficiency silicon-based solar cells, with specific attention to the fundamental understanding of interface structures and electrical contact formation, relevant to solar cells and electronic devices. 
He is also interested in new device architectures and applications, such as back-contacted solar cells and silicon-based multi-junction solar cells, aimed at the improved utilization of the full solar spectrum for electricity generation. A prime example of these devices are perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells.

Desired Project Deliverables

​Optimization of SnO2 thin films for perovskite solar cells applicationsTesting these layer for flat junction opaque devices for performance analysis Achieving >23% tandem solar cells efficiency using these buffer layers.Testing new ALD precursors for electron and hole transporting purposes