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Differential Bandgap Solar Cell Analysis


Place, Alexander Patrick Mccormick (2017) Differential Bandgap Solar Cell Analysis. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/K524-AZ81.


This thesis proposes and analyzes a new solar cell design. The base electrode of the new photovoltaic is composed of several electrically isolated nanolattices suspended on top of each other. Doped semiconductors are then deposited onto the beams of this electrode, forming isolated p-n junctions. The deposition thicknesses of one of the doped semiconductors is varied along the height of the device, creating a multi-junction solar cell. The charge ca rrier dynamics in an amorphous silicon- and germanium-based device are simulated, and the efficiency is found to be a factor of four greater than a conventional planar structure with similar parameters. The main components of this photovoltaic's fabrication process are developed and analyzed. Specifically, suspended and electrically isolated lattice electrodes made of carbon are built. The electrical conductivity of the carbon is shown to be similar to that of indium-tin oxide. The electrode material is determined to be a mix of amorphous and glassy carbon. Different methods of radiofrequency sputter deposition are used to deposit spatially dependent layer thicknesses of semiconductors onto the lattice beams. The spatial dependence is shown to be approximately linearly dependent on the height dimension of the lattice.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Not set
Research Advisor(s):
  • Greer, Julia R.
Thesis Committee:
  • None, None
Defense Date:15 May 2017
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:01102018-104101666
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10634
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:11 Jan 2018 00:24
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:27

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