ET4377 Photovoltaic technologies

Topics: For several solar-cell technologies, the device concepts, specific materials properties, and the manufacturing are discussed

This course will focus on several solar-cell technologies: silicon solar cells based on (multi)-crystalline wafers, thin-film solar cells based on thin silicon films, cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper-indium-(gallium)-(di)selenide (CIS to CIGS), III-V solar cells and concentrators, and organic and perovskite solar cells. For these various technologies the device concepts, the specific properties of the materials required, and the manufacturing and processing methods will be discussed.

Before these technologies will be discussed, an in-depth treatment of semiconductor device physics for solar cells and light-management concepts will be given that are applicable to all technologies. Issues included are recombination at interfaces, passivation, heterojunctions, various principles of light-scattering, anti-reflection coatings, and textured interfaces.

Study Goals

This course aims at an understanding of the different solar-cell technologies. Students are expected to be able to explain the operation of these devices based on the design, processing and material properties. Therefore an understanding of the physics of these technologies is required.

The learning objectives (LO) are as follows:

LO1: Understand semiconductor processes and light management concepts relevant for solar-cell operation.
LO2: Apply the semiconductor processes and light management concepts to existing state-of-the-art and emerging photovoltaic technologies with the objective to understand the solar-cell design.
LO3: Analyze the origin of various loss mechanisms in solar cells and the impact of different design solutions to achieve optimal performance.

Expected prior knowledge

Lecture course Photovoltaic Basics (ET4 376)


R.A.C.M.M. van Swaaij

Last modified: 2023-11-04


Credits: 4 EC
Period: 0/0/2/0