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Published May 2008 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Radial PN junction, wire array solar cells


Radial pn junctions are of interest in photovoltaics because of their potential to reduce the materials costs associated with cell fabrication. However, devices fabricated to date based on Au-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid growth have suffered from low open-circuit voltages (to our knowledge the highest reports are 260 mV in the solid state and 389 mV in solid-liquid junctions). Herein we report on the potential of low-cost catalysts such as Cu and Ni to fabricate Si wire arrays with potentially higher minority-carrier lifetimes than is possible with a Au catalyst, as well as on the use of reactive ion etching to fabricate high-purity analogs to vapor-liquid-solid grown arrays.

Additional Information

© 2008 IEEE. This work was supported by BP, the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials, an NSF Materi­als Research Science and Engineering Center at Caltech. MDH thanks the Hertz Foundation for financial support.

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