In the field of solar cells, harvesting the energy of UV and IR photons is essential to achieve higher solar conversion efficiency (SCE) and decreasing the negative impacts of UV and IR photons such as the generation of extra heat and the degradation of solar cell materials. The commercial Si-solar module can reach high photon conversion efficiency in the visible and NIR region, however, the photon energy in the UV and IR region are mostly not utilized. Several approaches have been proposed to combine multiple dyes and quantum dots to achieve a broad wavelength coverage, but the added complexity in manufacturing the solar cells creates an economic barrier to use these approaches. In most the studies, wavelength shifting materials were directly applied to the top or bottom of the solar cells [1, 2]. Considering the simplicity of applying retrofitted coatings to the cover glass of solar modules in contrast to changing the structure and the fabrication processes of solar cells, we developed a multifunctional thin film that can be directly applied to the solar modules to increase the power output. This multifunctional thin film is capable of wavelength shifting and reflection reduction at the same time. These thin films were fabricated using functional nanoparticles from scalable nanomanufacturing processes . The relation between the enhanced SCE of mc-Si solar cells and the micro- and nanostructures of the thin films was investigated experimentally along with optical modeling in this study.
1. B.S. Richards, “Luminescent layers for enhanced silicon solar cell performance: Down-conversion.” Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, vol. 90, 2006, pp. 1189-1207.
2. A. Shalav, et al. “Luminescent layers for enhanced silicon solar cell performance: Up-conversion.” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 91, 2007, pp. 829-842.
3. He, Yujuan, et al. “Continuous, Size and Shape-Control Synthesis of Hollow Silica Nanoparticles Enabled by a Microreactor-Assisted Rapid Mixing Process.” Nanotechnology, vol. 28, no. 23, 2017, p. 235602.