Solar energy represents one of the most abundant and yet least harvested source of renewable energy. We report a PV structure that incorporates 3D, single crystalline n-CdS nanopillars, embedded in poly- crystalline thin films of p-CdTe, to enable high absorption of light and efficient collection of the carriers. Through experiments and modeling, we demonstrate the potency of this approach for enabling highly versatile solar modules on both rigid and flexible substrates with enhanced carrier collection efficiency arising from the geometric configuration of the NPLs. We performed systematic studies on the optical properties of engineered nanopillar arrays, in order to achieve optimal photon absorption. Finally, as this process is compatible with a broad range of semiconductor materials, novel materials and process development is ongoing.
Project end date: 08/19/11