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Method of design and growth of single-crystal 3D nanostructured solar cell or detector

Stanford researchers at the Harris Lab have designed single-crystal 3D nanostructured III-V solar cells based on the epitaxial growth of III-V compound materials on 3D nanostructures pre-patterned on low cost substrates to achieve cost-effective large-scale deployment. This method is based on the recent discovery that the surface kinetics and epitaxial growth by chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) are dramatically altered when growing III-V compound semiconducting materials on nanostructures instead of planar surfaces. These growth kinetics enable uniform single crystal growth of low-defect lattice matched or mismatched materials on nanostructures with all kinds of shape size and aspect ratio. This approach provides high-efficiency multi-junction cells with reduced manufacturing and/or installation cost. It is applicable to all photovoltaic solar cells as well as optoelectronic devices. Applications: 1) Photovoltaic solar cells - light-weight flexible cells with end user applications such as: solar utilities and farms buildings - roof floor glass or curtain installation wearable devices (e.g. helmet backpacks emergency chargers) 2) Optoelectronic devices

Benefits:

1) Lower costs - Low manufacture cost reduced system integration and installation cost 2) High efficiency - Retains high efficiency as III-V multijunction solar cell 3) Reduced reflectance as low as 5% 4) Much wider acceptance angle of incident light reducing installation costs 5) Solar cell can be light-weighted foldable and portable 6) Can be grown or bonded onto low-cost flexible materials that can be contoured onto a variety of wearable materials 7) The nanostructure can be nanopyramid rectangular or hexagonal nanopillar with pyramid tip

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