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Physics Colloquium

Design evolution for thin film polycrystalline solar cells

Speaker: Prof. Ken Durose (Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool)
Date: Wednesday 17 May 2023
Time: 15:00
Venue: Queens Building N3.28

Solar cells made from thin film direct-gap semiconductors are the main competitor to the dominant wafer silicon technology, giving cost and materials utilisation advantages. Nevertheless, these advantages come with their own scientific challenges related to grain boundary and impurity/doping issues. This talk will focus on how these challenges are being overcome for both the leading thin film technology, cadmium telluride which has the zincblende structure, and an emerging material for photovoltaics, antimony selenide which has an unusual ribbon structure. Topics explored will include passivation of grain boundaries, grain size control in thin film growth, impurity control and doping. Progress in making new designs of solar cells that have the potential to overcome present day performance limitations will be reported - and their own challenges evaluated.