|Sung Bum Kang (Advisor: Kyoung Jin Choi)|
|Light:science and applications|
Transparent solar cells (TSCs) are emerging devices that combine the advantages of visible transparency and light-to-electricity conversion. Currently, existing TSCs are based predominantly on organics, dyes, and perovskites; however, the rigidity and colour-tinted transparent nature of those devices strongly limit the utility of the resulting TSCs for real-world applications. Here, we demonstrate a flexible, colour-neutral, and high-efficiency TSC based on a freestanding form of n-silicon microwires (SiMWs). Flat-tip SiMWs with controllable spacing are fabricated via deep reactive ion etching and embedded in a freestanding transparent polymer matrix. The light transmittance can be tuned from ~10% to 55% by adjusting the spacing between the microwires. For TSCs, a heterojunction is formed with a p-type polymer in the top portion of the n-type flat-tip SiMWs. Ohmic contact with an indium-doped ZnO film occurs at the bottom, and the side surface has an Al2O3 passivation layer. Furthermore, slanted-tip SiMWs are developed by a novel solvent-assisted wet etching method to manipulate light absorption. Finite-difference time-domain simulation revealed that the reflected light from slanted-tip SiMWs helps light-matter interactions in adjacent microwires. The TSC based on the slanted-tip SiMWs demonstrates 8% efficiency at a visible transparency of 10% with flexibility. This efficiency is the highest among Si-based TSCs and comparable with that of state-of-the-art neutral-colour TSCs based on organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite and organics. Moreover, unlike others, the stretchable and transparent platform in this study is promising for future TSCs.
Stretchable and colorless freestanding microwire arrays for transparent solar cells with flexibility