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pre352 - Advanced Photovoltaic Cell Design (Complete module description)
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Module label Advanced Photovoltaic Cell Design
Module code pre352
Credit points 5.0 KP
Workload 150 h
Institute directory Institute of Physics
Applicability of the module
  • Master's Programme European Master in Renewable Energy (EUREC) (Master) > Mastermodule
Responsible persons
Skills to be acquired in this module
After completing the module, the student will be able to
- Critically appraise the choice of semiconductors used and the design and fabrication methods used to produce an advanced PV device.
- Critically appraise the characterisation methods used with semiconductor materials and with PV devices.
- Perform a literature review on advanced PV devices to a professional standard.
- Present data and information both verbally and in the written form to a professional standard.
Module contents
1. Introduction
- Flat plate modules. Concentrator solar cells. Multijunction concepts.
- Overview of types of solar cell developed - status of the technologies.
2. Advanced Devices
- Crystalline Silicon Devices: High efficiency crystalline silicon designs incorporating surface passivation, light trapping and vertical contacts. Cost reduction strategies: ribbon fed growth and thin film silicon devices.
- Polycrystalline silicon.
- III-V Devices: Heteroface cell. Radiation resistance. GaAs, InP and GaSb-based devices. Designs for use under high concentration.
- Space applications. Physics of multijunction cells. Quantum well devices.
- Thermophotovoltaic devices.
- Thin Film Solar Cells: Amorphous silicon. CdTe and chalcopyritebased solar cells. Typical cell structures. Methods of fabrication. Applications. Polymer cells, Gratzel cells.
3. Advanced Characterisation Methods
- Material characterisation: X-ray diffraction, electron and ion beam characterisation methods, optical characterisation, Van der Pauw length.
- Device Characterisation: DLTS, photoluminescence and PAS.
- Solar simulators.
- Measurement of fill-factor, solar conversion efficiency and spectral response.
- I-V-T and C-V-f measurements. Radiation damage
4. Literature Review
This will be undertaken for one of the following topics: crystalline silicon devices, III-V devices or thin film devices.
Reader's advisory
S.M.Sze and Kwok K. Ng: Physics of Semiconductor Devices, Wiley, 2006
Lewis Fraas and Larry Partain (eds): Solar Cells and Their Applications, Second Edition, Wiley, 2010.
Journals of „Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells" and „Progress in Photovoltaics“.
Proceedings of IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conferences.
Proceedings of European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conferences.
Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency jährlich
Module capacity unlimited
Modullevel / module level MM (Mastermodul)
Modulart / typ of module Pflicht
Lehr-/Lernform / Teaching/Learning method
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module
At the end of the semester
Written report (literature review): The module assessment is in the form of a review of approximately 3,000 words, chosen by the student from a list of PV device categories.
Course type Seminar
Workload attendance 0 h