2022 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

Symposium EN06-Silicon for Photovoltaics

Over the 40+ year history of commercial photovoltaics, crystalline silicon solar cells have maintained a market majority share. Even though silicon cell technologies are well-understood and widely utilized, significant advancements have continued to occur in the last 6 years: new efficiency records have been set for mono- and multi-crystalline cells, perovskite/silicon and III-V/silicon tandems, as well as mono- and bifacial modules. These improvements have been driven by innovations in materials science that increased yield, reduced cost, and extended reliability. To maintain this trend, sustained material research in key and emerging areas along the value chain is vital, including: (i) understanding and mitigation of bulk absorber material defects and the exploration of new silicon-based absorbers; (ii) development of carrier-selective, passivating contact layers and interfaces for higher device voltages; (iii) high efficiency device concepts including multi-junction solar cells, advanced light trapping and metallization schemes; (iv) research into high power density devices and systems, including module design (e.g. half-cell concepts) and bifaciality; and (v) silicon PV reliability and integrated system related material research including degradation mechanisms, recycling, and developing a circular economy for Si-based PV. This symposium focuses on these topics but more generally seeks to encompass any materials research with the potential to advance silicon-based photovoltaics.

Topics will include:

  • Alternative Si absorber fabrication methods such as layer separation/transfer, epitaxial wafer processes, kerfless silicon or ultra-thin silicon absorbers (including Si nanowire/nanocrystal growth techniques for photovoltaic applications).
  • Research related to bulk silicon defects, gettering, bulk hydrogenation, and lifetime degradation/mitigation (e.g. LID, LeTID, etc.).
  • The development of new silicon-based absorbers that could offer higher absorption, bandgap tunability and/or lower bulk recombination, (e.g silicon-germanium, barium-disilicide, silicon clathrates and silicon-(carbon-)tin alloys.)
  • New material systems or improvements in performance of existing passivated contacts such as those based on amorphous and polycrystalline silicon, as well as metal oxides, fluorides etc.
  • Explorations of the fundamental, underlying principles of passivated contacts (i.e. surface passivation, band alignment/bending, Fermi-level pinning).
  • Innovative deposition and processing techniques and new functionalities of passivated contacts.
  • Contributions towards improved silicon cell performance, including the development of novel photon management strategies (e.g. advanced surface textures), metallization technologies, and back-contacted or other novel device architectures.
  • Development of multi-junction architectures featuring silicon as one of the absorbers (e.g. III-V/Si or Perovskite/Si tandems).
  • Research into bifacial cell design, measurement protocols, and energy yield analysis.
  • Module interconnection approaches that increase area-based efficiencies (e.g. shingled cells, conductive adhesives, larger wafer formats).
  • Integration of silicon modules into systems (e.g. PV-battery interface, building integration, vehicle integration).
  • Advancement of module- and system-related material aspects such as the interconnection and encapsulation of silicon solar cells.
  • Developing a circular economy for Si PV, including recycling, life cycle analysis, and manufacturing.

Invited Speakers (tentative):

  • Kirstin Alberi (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Martin Bivour (Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany)
  • Kylie Catchpole (The Australian National University, Australia)
  • Kaining Ding (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany)
  • Stephanie Essig (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Radovan Kopecek (International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz, Germany)
  • Bart Macco (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands)
  • Daniel McDonnald (The Australian National University, Australia)
  • Gizem Nogay (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Silvana Ovaitt (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Angele Reinders (University of Twente, Netherlands)
  • Armin Richter (Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany)
  • Rutger Schlatman (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany)
  • Henning Schulte-Huxel (Institute for Solar Energy Research GmbH, Germany)
  • Akira Terakawa (Panasonic, Japan)
  • Marko Topic (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
  • Yimao Wan (Risen Energy Co., China)
  • Arthur Weeber (TNO Netherlands, Netherlands)
  • Zhengshan Yu (Arizona State University, USA)
  • Miro Zeman (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)

Symposium Organizers

Emily Warren
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

James Bullock
The University of Melbourne

Ivan Gordon

Xinyu Zhang

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature

Symposium Support