Black silicon solar cells with record 18.7% efficiency

April 4, 2013, Aalto University

Scientists at Aalto University, Finland and Fraunhofer ISE, Germany report an efficiency of 18.7% for black silicon solar cells, the highest efficiency reported so far for a black silicon solar cell.

The researchers were able to apply a boron diffusion to create a pn-junction, maintaining the excellent optical properties of the black . By applying atomic layer deposited Al2O3, an effective passivation of the nanostructured surfaces was achieved. The previous efficiency record of 18.2% was held by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) using thermal oxidation as a passivating layer.

"The measurements reveal that the nanostructured front surface is of a high electrical quality comparable to a pyramidal textured surface," says Assistant Professor Hele Savin of Aalto University.

Routes for improving the cell efficiency are already identified, and efficiencies clearly above 20% should be within reach.

The paper, 'Passivation of Black Silicon Boron Emitters with ALD Al2O3' by Päivikki Repo, Ville Vähänissi, Guillaume von Gastrow, Jan Benick, Jonas Schön, Bernd Steinhauser, Martin C. Schubert and Hele Savin, was presented in SiliconPV, the 3rd International Conference on Photovoltaics, 25-27 March 2013 in Hamelin, Germany.

Explore further: Black silicon can take efficiency of solar cells to new levels

Related Stories

Nanostructures improve solar cell efficiency

May 26, 2011

To make solar cells a competitive alternative to other renewable energy sources, researchers are investigating different alternatives. A step in the right direction is through new processes that change the surfaces of silicon ...

Recommended for you

World's biggest battery in Australia to trump Musk's

March 16, 2018

British billionaire businessman Sanjeev Gupta will built the world's biggest battery in South Australia, officials said Friday, overtaking US star entrepreneur Elon Musk's project in the same state last year.

1 in 3 Michigan workers tested opened fake 'phishing' email

March 16, 2018

Michigan auditors who conducted a fake "phishing" attack on 5,000 randomly selected state employees said Friday that nearly one-third opened the email, a quarter clicked on the link and almost one-fifth entered their user ...

Origami-inspired self-locking foldable robotic arm

March 15, 2018

A research team of Seoul National University led by Professor Kyu-Jin Cho has developed an origami-inspired robotic arm that is foldable, self-assembling and also highly-rigid. (The researchers include Suk-Jun Kim, Dae-Young ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.