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All-inorganic nano-rod based thin-film solarcells on glass

Objective

Thin film solar cells, based on non-toxic, abundant and air-stable silicon (Si) will probably, based on forecasts, dominate the photovoltaic market in the future and thus replace bulk Si from its leading position. This prognosis is fostered by the strong cost reduction potential due to highly effective materials utilization at low energy consumption. However, thin film Si suffers from inherently small grains, which limits efficiencies to ~10% due to carrier recombination at grain boundaries. A radical innovation of the Si thin film materials synthesis route is needed to circumvent this problem. ROD_SOL aims at the synthesis of Si nano-rods, densely packed at sufficiently large diameters (few 100 nm's) and lengths (>1µm for sufficient carrier absorption in indirect semiconductors) directly on cheap substrates like glass or flexible metal foils. The idea is to grow Si nano-rods from the gas phase that are inherently defect free, with a wrapped around pn-junction that bares the potential to decouple absorption of light from charge transport by allowing lateral diffusion of minority carriers to the pn-junction, which is at most a few hundred nm away, rather than a few µm as in conventional thin film solar cells. That way, efficiencies as in bulk Si are expectable, however, with the advantage that the 'nano-rod carpet' layer, is at most a few µm thick. A 'nano-rod carpet' that thin shows a strongly increased optical absorption. Thus, the 'nano-rod carpet' is not only the active solar cell element but at the same time its own light trapping structure. For synthesis of the nano-rods, development of suitable contact materials and characterization of physical and structural properties four experienced research institutes have joined forces. Despite the fundamental materials research to be in focus, three companies joined the consortium to directly test and implement the novel materials and processes in a well proven, industrially viable thin film solar cell concept.

Field of science

  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/grains and oilseeds
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/coating and films

Call for proposal

FP7-ENERGY-NMP-2008-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUER PHOTONISCHE TECHNOLOGIEN E.V.
Address
Albert Einstein Strasse 9
07745 Jena
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 403 100
Administrative Contact
Gabriele Hamm (Ms.)

Participants (10)

FRIEDRICH-ALEXANDER-UNIVERSITAET ERLANGEN-NUERNBERG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 323 840
Address
Schlossplatz 4
91054 Erlangen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ulrich Winderl (Mr.)
EIDGENOSSISCHE MATERIALPRUFUNGS- UND FORSCHUNGSANSTALT
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 306 660
Address
Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Dubendorf
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Johann Michler (Dr.)
MUSZAKI FIZIKAI ES ANYAGTUDOMANYI KUTATOINTEZET - MAGYAR TUDOMANYOS AKADEMIA
Hungary
EU contribution
€ 217 320
Address
Konkoly Thege Miklos Ut 29-33
1121 Budapest
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Vera Somogyi (Ms.)
AIT AUSTRIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 235 028
Address
Giefinggasse 4
1210 Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Felix Schröpfer (Mr.)
TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT
Finland
EU contribution
€ 265 158
Address
Tekniikantie 4 A
02044 VTT Espoo
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Outi Lindqvist (Ms.)
PICOSUN OY
Finland
EU contribution
€ 318 680
Address
Tietotie 3
02150 Espoo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Juhana Kostamo (Mr.)
AIXTRON SE
Germany
EU contribution
€ 255 083
Address
Dornkaulstrasse 2
52134 Herzogenrath
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Michael Heuken (Prof.)
BISOL, RAZVOJ, PROIZVODNJA, INZENIRING IN SVETOVANJE, DOO
Slovenia
EU contribution
€ 236 646
Address
Latkova Vas 59A
3312 Prebold
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Uros Merc (Dr.)
iSuppli Deutschland GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 138 327
Address
Frauenplatz 5
80331 Munich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Maren Wicht (Ms.)
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGYCORP

Participation ended

United States
Address
East California Boulevard 1200
91125 Pasadena
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mary J. Gibson (Ms.)