Single‐walled carbon nanotubes for more efficient III‐V solar cells

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From pv magazine International

Scientists from the Saint Petersburg Academic University in Russia claim to have raised the efficiency of gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells from 10.6% to 11.5% by using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) instead of conventional metal grid contacts.

Traditional metal grid contacts are able to provide transparency, but they also require high doping of the cell surface layer to provide efficient photocurrent collection, the researchers explained. Heavy doping and deposition are energy-intensive industrial processes, which is why they drive up production costs for similar solar cells.

The researchers are pushing aerosol-synthesized SWCNTs as an alternative, as they are said to combine optoelectronic properties, flexibility, chemical stability, and simple transfer protocols to cover large surface areas. “The SWCNTs could help greatly improve the performance of SC when applied as a transparent contact layer material,” the researchers said.

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