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Proceedings Paper

a-SiC:H films used as photoelectrodes in a hybrid, thin-film silicon photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell for progress toward 10% solar-to hydrogen efficiency
Author(s): Feng Zhu; Jian Hu; Augusto Kunrath; Ilvydas Matulionis; Bjorn Marsen; Brian Cole; Eric Miller; Arun Madan
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we describe the fabrication of amorphous SiC:H materials and using them as photoelectrodes in photoelectrochemical cells (PEC). With the increase of CH4 flow (in SiH4 gas mixture) during growth, the bandgap, Eg, increases from ~ 1.8eV to ~2.0eV, while the photoconductivity decreases from ~10-5 S/cm to ~10-8 S/cm. These high-quality a-SiC:H materials with Eg of 2.0eV included into a solar cell configuration led to a conversion efficiency,η~7% on textured Asahi U type SnO2 coated substrates, with the i-layer thickness of ~300nm. For a reduced i-layer thickness of ~100 nm, a current density, Jsc ~8.45mA/cm2 has been achieved, Immersing the a-SiC:H(p)/a-SiC:H(i) structure in 0.33M H3PO4 electrolytes, produced a photocurrent of ~7mA/cm2. With a further optimization we expect that the photocurrent could exceed 9mA/cm2. With the use of this configuration substrate/silicon tandem device (a-Si/a-Si or a- Si/nc-Si)/a-SiC:H(p)/a-SiC:H(i), it may therefore be possible to increase the solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiencies to beyond 10%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6650, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology II, 66500S (11 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.735014
Show Author Affiliations
Feng Zhu, MVSystems, Inc. (United States)
Colorado School of Mines (United States)
Jian Hu, MVSystems, Inc. (United States)
Augusto Kunrath, MVSystems, Inc. (United States)
Ilvydas Matulionis, Colorado School of Mines (United States)
Bjorn Marsen, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
Brian Cole, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
Eric Miller, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
Arun Madan, MVSystems, Inc. (United States)
Colorado School of Mines (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6650:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology II
Jinghua Guo, Editor(s)

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