Over the recent past, engineers worldwide have been developing various new technologies for generation and storage of energy more sustainably. Solar or photovoltaic cells, electrical devices that can convert light from sun into electricity are some of these technologies that are developed.
Perovskite/SHJ tandem solar cells and silicon heterojunction solar cells are two promising types of solar cells that are developed for sustainable energy. These classes of solar cells are created using hydrogenated amorphous silicon – the non-crystalline form of silicon which is also commonly used to construct thin-film transistors, LCD displays, and batteries.
In fact, hydrogenated amorphous silicon has been used for numerous years to create photovoltaics. This is due to its tunable conduction, low defect density, and other advantages. Nonetheless, since advantages of the material relies heavily on configurations of hydrogen and silicon in 3D space, this requires engineers to be able to control its microscopic configuration with high levels of accuracy to create highly fulfilling devices.
Earlier, to use hydrogenated amorphous silicon, material scientists have tried to dope it using the metalloid chemical substance boron to obtain light from the sun more effectively. However, so far, most scientists attained poor and unreliable results.
In a new attempt, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Zhongwei New Energy, and Chinese Academy of Sciences recently introduced a new strategy that involved doping hydrogenated amorphous silicon using boron to improve its efficiency significantly.
The strategy published in Nature Energy essentially requires light soaking the films.
Meanwhile, the extremely small doping capability of trivalent boron in amorphous tetravalent silicon limits light harvesting of SHJ by their fill factors, which is a direct unit of the charge carrier transport.