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Browse Prior Art Database

Total Photon Absorption Solar Cells

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000083985D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

It is known that solar cell efficiencies may be improved by coating the planar surfaces thereof with antireflection coatings. These coatings may be single layered or multilayered in accordance with the desired absorbing efficiency and cost considerations.

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Total Photon Absorption Solar Cells

It is known that solar cell efficiencies may be improved by coating the planar surfaces thereof with antireflection coatings. These coatings may be single layered or multilayered in accordance with the desired absorbing efficiency and cost considerations.

The figure shows a device in which the absorption process is improved without the use of antireflection coating. As can be seen, the solar cell surface is constructed such that multiple reflections are produced, so as to permit near total absorption to take place.

The surface is produced by masking and preferential etching of one orientation over others, such that the cavities are cut at precise angles to the surface. This maybe achieved with any of a variety of semiconductors and varied orientations, such as Si and GaAs.

Closely spaced arrays of such cavities, as shown in the figure, appear black when viewed at particular angles to the surface of the semiconductor. This is due to the enhanced absorption caused by the many bounces the photon experiences.

As can be seen, in the arrangement shown, N-silicon is used as the starting material, and after appropriate masking and preferential etching to achieve the desired cavities, the N-type silicon is doped to provide a layer of P-type silicon which conforms to the cavity configuration over the surface of the solar cell. Contacts are provided as in standard cell fabrication methods.

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