Thin film Si QDs solar cells (S. Binetti, M. Acciarri)

The 3rd generation approach to photovoltaics aims to decrease the cost of the cell while increasing the efficiency. This must be done using different physical approaches rather than those used on single junction solar cells. Tandem solar cells are a proposed design to overcome the 31% Schokley-Queisser limit of efficiency. The 3rd generation approach to the fabrication of a tandem solar cell is the deposition of alternate layers of films containing silicon nanocrystal smaller than 5 nm taking advantage of the properties of materials at such low dimensions. In this way it is possible to achieve theoretical efficiencies up to 68%. Such a cell is still highly experimental and must be created, characterized and optimized.
Our research activity in this field is devoted to the electrical characterization of active layers consisting of such nanocrystals. The matrix in which Si nanocrystal are usually embedded in is an insulator, preventing charges to be efficiently collected at the electrodes unless carefully optimized.
This will eventually lead to the choice of the growth parameters that maximize the efficiency of the cell allowing the reduction of the costs.


  • S. Binetti, M.Acciarri, A. Le Donne, M. Morgano, Y Jestin Key Success Factors and Future Perspective of Silicon-Based Solar Cells International Journal of Photoenergy, vol. 2013 Article ID 249502, 6 pages, 2013
  • M. Morgano, I. Perez-Wurfl and S. Binetti Nanostructured Silicon-Based Films for Photovoltaics: Recent Progresses and Perspectives Science of Advanced Materials Vol.3, pp. 388-400, 2011
  • M. Morgano, T. Zhang, I. Perez-Wurfl, S. Binetti, M. Acciarri, G.Conibeer  Assessment of the composition of Silicon-Rich Oxide films for photovoltaic applications by optical techniques Energy Procedia, vol. 10, Pages 28-32, 2011
  • S. M. Hossain A. Anopchenko, S. Prezioso L. Ferraioli, L. Pavesi, G. Pucker, P. Bellutti, S. Binetti, M. Acciarri Sub-Band Gap Photo-Response of Nano-Crystalline Silicon in a Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Device J. Appl. Phys 104, 04917, 2008
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