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Journal Article

Influence of the contacting scheme in simulations of radial silicon nanorod solar cells


Christiansen,  Silke H.
Christiansen Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Micro- & Nanostructuring, Technology Development and Service Units, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Voigt, F., Stelzner, T., & Christiansen, S. H. (2012). Influence of the contacting scheme in simulations of radial silicon nanorod solar cells. SI, 177(17), 1558-1562. doi:10.1016/j.mseb.2011.10.021.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-687D-B
Silicon nanorod solar cells were simulated using the Silvaco Technical Computer Aided Design (TCAD) software suite. For reasons of speed optimization the simulations were performed in cylinder coordinates taking advantage of the model's symmetry. Symmetric doping was assumed with a dopant density of 1018 cm(-3) in the p-type core and in the n-type shell, and the location of the pn-junction was chosen such that the space charge region was located adjacent to the shell surface. Two contact configurations were explored. In configuration A the cathode contact was wrapped around the semiconductor nanorod, while in configuration B the cathode was assumed just on top of the nanorod. In both cases the anode was located at the bottom of the rod. Cell efficiency was optimized with regard to rod radius and rod length. Optimization was performed in a three-step procedure consisting in radius optimization, length optimization and again radius optimization. A maximum in efficiency with respect to rod length L was visible in configuration A. leading to an optimum value of L=48 mu m. This maximum is explained by the combination of an increase of short-circuit current density J(sc) and a decrease of open-circuit voltage U-oc with L. In configuration B.J(sc) also increases with L. but U-oc stays rather constant and the maximum in efficiency only appears at very large values of L approximate to 12 mm. We restricted the rod length to L <= 100 mu m for further optimization, in order to stay in an experimentally feasible range. During the optimization of rod radius R in configuration A the open circuit voltage increased continuously, while short circuit current density stayed rather constant. This leads to an increase in efficiency with R, which only stops at very large radii, where R starts to be comparable with L. In configuration B efficiency is almost independent of R, provided that the radius is large enough to comprise a well-formed space charge region, here only a shallow maximum can be estimated. With the demand of rod lengths being smaller than 100 mu m, optimum parameters L = 48 mu m, R=32 mu m and L = 96 mu m, R=2 mu m were extracted for configuration A and B, respectively. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.