Silicon Photovoltaics: towards the efficiency limits.

Andreani L.C.

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Light trapping is crucial to increase efficiency in solar cells by approaching the ultimate limit to absorption, as achieved by a Lambertian scatterer. Here we give an overview of light trapping and efficiency limits of crystalline silicon solar cells in a wide range of thicknesses. We employ theoretical solutions of the transport problem, by means of full numerical simulations and of analytical models with varying complexities, focusing on the roles of intrinsic (Auger) and extrinsic recombination mechanisms. The limiting efficiency is close to 29%, as compared to the current 26.7% record, and the optimal absorber thickness is found to be around 100 microns. Prospects for increasing the efficiency beyond the 29% limit by using perovskite/silicon tandems is briefly discussed.

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