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Symposium EN04-Silicon for Photovoltaics

Silicon has enjoyed an enduring majority share of the terrestrial photovoltaic market. Despite the apparent maturity of this technology, the last five years have seen a string of efficiency records in mono- and multi-crystalline cells, perovskite/silicon and III-V/silicon tandems, as well as mono- and bi-facial modules. These improvements have relied on innovations in materials science at the cell and module level that further 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 high voltage devices; (iii) high efficiency device concepts including multi-junction solar cells, advanced light trapping and metallization schemes, as well as 3rd generation concepts relevant to silicon photovoltaics; and (iv) silicon PV module and integrated system related material research including reliability, stability and recycling. The Silicon for Photovoltaics symposium focuses on these topics but more generally seeks to encompass any materials research with the potential to advance silicon photovoltaics.

Topics will include:

  • Absorbers - Research focused on the development of new silicon-based absorbers that could offer higher absorption, bandgap tunability and/or lower bulk recombination, such as silicon-germanium, barium-disilicide, silicon clathrates and silicon-(carbon-)tin alloys.
  • Alternative absorber fabrication methods such as layer separation/transfer, epitaxial wafer processes, and solid-/liquid-induced crystallization aimed at kerfless silicon or ultra-thin silicon absorbers. This also includes investigation of silicon nanowire/nanocrystal growth techniques for photovoltaic applications. Research related to bulk silicon defects analysis, gettering, bulk hydrogenation, and lifetime degradation/mitigation are also encouraged.
  • Surface Passivation and Passivating Contacts - Research exploring 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.
  • Innovative deposition techniques and doping methods, contact hydrogenation, and new functionalities (temperature stability, transparency, patterned depositions) of passivated contacts. Explorations of the fundamental, underlying principles of passivated contacts (i.e. surface passivation, band alignment/bending, Fermi-level pinning at interfaces).
  • Characterization and modeling of the structural, mechanical, electrical, and optical properties of silicon surface passivation layers and passivating contacts.
  • High Efficiency Device Concepts - Contributions towards improved silicon cell performance, including the development of novel photon management strategies (e.g. advanced surface textures, up- and down-conversion), new metallization technologies (especially to passivated contacts), and back-contacted or other novel device architectures. Development in multi-junction architectures featuring silicon as one of the absorbers (e.g. III-V/Si or Perovskite/Si tandems).
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Mathieu Boccard (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Kristopher Davis (University of Central Florida, USA)
  • Weiwei Deng (Canadian Solar, Canada)
  • David Fenning (University of California, San Diego, USA)
  • Giso Hahn (Universität Konstanz, Germany)
  • Matthew Halsall (The University of Manchester, United Kingdom)
  • Susan Huang (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy , USA)
  • Brett Kamino (Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, Switzerland)
  • Andreas Lambertz (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany)
  • Patrizio Manganiello (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
  • Daniel MacDonald (The Australian National University, Australia)
  • Monica Morales-Masis (University of Twente, Netherlands)
  • John Murphy (The University of Warwick, United Kingdom)
  • Bonna Newman (TNO, Netherlands)
  • Ingrid Repins (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Michael Rienaecker (Institute for Solar Energy Research, Germany)
  • Hele Savin (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Heping Shen (The Australian National University, Australia)
  • Fatima Toor (The University of Iowa, USA)
  • Michelle Vaqueiro Contreras (The University of New South Wales, Australia)
  • David Young (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Xinyu Zhang (Jinko Solar, China)

Symposium Organizers

James Bullock
The University of Melbourne

Kaining Ding
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Ivan Gordon

Emily Warren
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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