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Functional All-Silicon Nanowire Solar Cells
P. Thony, R. Delsol, C. Jaussaud, N. Rondel, E. Rouvière, S. Poncet, S. Perraud, C. Mouchet, P. Gentile, T. Baron
Silicon Solar Cell(s), Silicon Nanowires, Vapour-Liquid-Solid (VLS) Growth
Advanced Photovoltaics
Subtopic: New Types of Cells and Modules
Event: 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 1-5 September 2008, Valencia, Spain
Session: 1DV.2.26
670 - 674
ISBN: 3-936338-24-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/23rdEUPVSEC2008-1DV.2.26
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


A functional all-silicon nanowire solar cell was demonstrated. Silicon nanowires were grown by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD), using the vapour-liquid-solid technique with gold as a catalyst. N-type and p-type doping of the nanowires was achieved by introducing gaseous precursors inside the CVD growth chamber. Evidence of efficient doping has been shown through electrical transport measurements on single nanowires and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). A fully integrated process for fabricating nanowire-based solar cells was developed, including nanowires encapsulation and electrical contact formation. Several test devices were built with different electrical architectures. Test devices consisting of n-type silicon nanowires grown on a p-type silicon substrate were characterized. A rectifying behaviour was observed in the dark I-V characteristics due to the p-n junction formed at the nanowire layer / substrate interface. Under illumination, a photovoltaic effect was obtained with I(V) curves showing the typical behaviour of a photovoltaic cell. This result represents the first photovoltaic cell based on a homojonction structure build with silicon nanowires.