Record high efficiency single-walled carbon nanotube/silicon p - N junction solar cells

Yeonwoong Jung, Xiaokai Li, Nitin K. Rajan, Andre Taylor, Mark A. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Carrier transport characteristics in high-efficiency single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs)/silicon (Si) hybrid solar cells are presented. The solar cells were fabricated by depositing intrinsic p-type SWNT thin-films on n-type Si wafers without involving any high-temperature process for p-n junction formation. The optimized cells showed a device ideality factor close to unity and a record-high power-conversion-efficiency of >11%. By investigating the dark forward current density characteristics with varying temperature, we have identified that the temperature-dependent current rectification originates from the thermally activated band-to-band transition of carriers in Si, and the role of the SWNT thin films is to establish a built-in potential for carrier separation/collection. We have also established that the dominant carrier transport mechanism is diffusion, with minimal interface recombination. This is further supported by the observation of a long minority carrier lifetime of ∼34 μs, determined by the transient recovery method. This study suggests that these hybrid solar cells operate in the same manner as single crystalline p-n homojunction Si solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 9 2013

Fingerprint

Silicon
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCN)
Solar cells
Carrier transport
solar cells
carbon nanotubes
silicon
Thin films
Carrier lifetime
Silicon solar cells
Silicon wafers
homojunctions
Temperature
Conversion efficiency
rectification
Current density
carrier lifetime
thin films
minority carriers
p-n junctions

Keywords

  • CNT/Si solar cell
  • high efficiency
  • hybrid solar cell
  • ideality factor
  • photovoltaics
  • temperature dependency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Record high efficiency single-walled carbon nanotube/silicon p - N junction solar cells. / Jung, Yeonwoong; Li, Xiaokai; Rajan, Nitin K.; Taylor, Andre; Reed, Mark A.

In: Nano Letters, Vol. 13, No. 1, 09.01.2013, p. 95-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jung, Yeonwoong ; Li, Xiaokai ; Rajan, Nitin K. ; Taylor, Andre ; Reed, Mark A. / Record high efficiency single-walled carbon nanotube/silicon p - N junction solar cells. In: Nano Letters. 2013 ; Vol. 13, No. 1. pp. 95-99.
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