Silicon solar cells are dominating the photovoltaic market, and this dominance is expected to continue in the next decade(s). The most efficient way to achieve further cost reduction for silicon solar cells is to increase the solar cell efficiency and is commonly acceptedthat passivating contacts and advanced surface passivation will be required to enable >25% silicon solar cells in the photovoltaics industry. In this work, we will present some recent progress in our group on the synthesis and characterisation of nanoscale thin films which serve as contact and surface passivation film. We will show that angular resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy can have a remarkable sensitivity for ultrathin films and demonstrate how this sensitivity was exploited when optimising surface passivation. In addition, we will give an overview of the materials currently being investigated in our group for advanced hole and electron contacts on silicon wafer solar cells.
Bram Hoex is an Associate Professor and Scientia Fellow at UNSW Sydney and Deputy Head at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. His research focusses on the application of nanoscale thin films in a wide range of photovoltaic devices. He published over 150 scientific papers which have been citedover 5,000 times. His work has received various international recognitions including the 2008 SolarWorld Junior Einstein the 2016 IEEE PVSC Young Professional awards, and he was listed in the “Solar 40 under 40 list” globally by Renewable Energy World in 2018.