Multicrystalline silicon makes up approximately 60% of the global solar cell market, due to its combination of low cost and reasonable electronic quality. However, to enable the higher solar cell efficiencies sought by industry, the material quality must be improved further. This project will use state-of-the-art characterisation techniques developed in our laboratories to understand the dominant material loss mechanisms in this material, and to develop effective strategies to remove them. Defects to be studied include grain boundaries, dislocations, dissolved metal impurities and light-induced degradation mechanisms. Characterisation techniques will be based on photoluminescence imaging and advanced micron-scale photoluminescence mapping.
Materials to be studied include high-performance p-type multicrystalline silicon, and also n-type multicrystalline silicon, which has potential advantages over the traditional p-type material. The project will also involve the fabrication of very high efficiency solar cells based on these materials in the PV laboratories at ANU.
The project will be largely experimental, with some numerical modelling of carrier transport and recombination. The project will be supervised by Prof Daniel Macdonald and Drs. Kelvin Sio and Sieu Pheng Phang at ANU. It will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s largest PV manufacturers, Jinko Solar, based in China.