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Nanowire arrays have been proposed to enhance light trapping, increase efficiencies, and reduced material cost in photovoltaic solar cells. In this work we present a new crystalline silicon nanowire array structure, inspired by fractal geometry. The array structure is assumed to be an infinite 2D array in the x and y directions, and composed of vertically aligned SiNW suspended in air. Hexagonal fractal-like geometry is adapted in arranging cylindrical SiNW in these arrays. Full-wave finite element method 3D simulation is used to compute reflectance, transmittance and absorptance of the array for a normal incidence plane wave. The proposed fractal-like distribution of SiNW arrays yield broad absorption spectrum and enhanced efficiency while using less material. The efficiency of the proposed fractal-like SiNW arrays achieve ∼100% enhancement over that of the equivalent thickness flat c-Si film, and ∼18% enhancement over an equivalent height hexagonal array. The proposed optimized structures achieved a filling ratio ∼25%, which is ∼33% less than the corresponding hexagonal array.
Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) has been widely used as a Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layer in the photovoltaic solar technology because of its excellent electrical and optical properties. However, ITO is brittle, and its conductivity decreases significantly as the ITO films are exposed to stretching or bending strains especially in flexible/foldable solar cell applications. The cracks in ITO appear at very low strains which might cause failure in the conductive layer because of the combination of a very thin film of brittle ceramic material applied to a polymer substrate. Poly (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene), abbreviated PEDOT, is of increasing interest as a competitive candidate to ITO. PEDOT has found its way in many applications such as transparent electrode materials and transparent conductive layers in photovoltaic solar cells. In this work, the mechanical behavior of PEDOT was studied under high cycle bending fatigue in which the effects of bending diameter and bending frequency were considered and compared to ITO. High magnification optical images were used to study cracking in the PEDOT as well as the ITO layers. In flexible solar cells, the web will be exposed to folding/bending many times during manufacturing and installation. Therefore, the thin film substrate structure will be exposed to cyclic loading cyclic tensile and compressive strains. Therefore, this work was designed to mechanically fatigue the structure and study its behavior. It was found that bending diameters as well as material (PEDOT or ITO) have a great influence on the electrical conductivity of the thin films.
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