Internship with Applied Materials

Two Solar Power Lab students just completed their internship with Applied Materials over the summer. Tim Reblitz and Abhishek Kumar are pictured with James Gee (Chief Scientist, Applied Materials). They worked on next generation photovoltaic technologies at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley office in San Jose, California. 

Abhishek is completing his masters in Industrial Engineering and Tim is in his third year of the PhD program.

Interns

Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE conference

At the recent IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference, Jaewon Oh received the best student paper award in the area of Reliability of PV. Jaewon's paper was entitled "Application of Reverse Bias Recovery Technique to Address PID Issue: Incompleteness of shunt resistance and quantum efficiency recovery". Potential induced degradation (PID) has become increasingly important in recent years as modules are used in larger systems and voltages increase.

Jaewon recieves his award from the IEEE

Kerfless Crystalline-Silicon PV: Gas to Modules

We recently started a new program at ASU to work on one of the most challenging problems in photovoltaics. How to grow thin wafers of crystalline silicon directly from the gas phase and then process them into solar cells. The program takes advantage of technology that we recently developed to produce record voltages on crystalline silicon solar cells.

The program is funded by DOE ARPA-E and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and involves a collaboration between Applied Materials  (lead), Suniva and ASU. 

Positive and negative charges in silicon nitride.

The surfaces of silicon solar cells are highly active and a major loss mechanism unless they are made electrical inactive by passivation of the surface defects. Silicon nitride is commonly used to passivate the front surface of solar cells and gives them their blue color. The positive charge in the nitride lowers the electrical activity at the surface of n-type material by repelling minority carrier holes. Recently we demonstrated a techniue to change the charge in silicon nitride from positive to negative. By flipping the charge we will be able to use silicon nitride to passivate p-type. The whole process is done at low temperature and relies on changing a metastable defect.

Solar Power in Uganda

solar therm al prototype in UgandaSolar power benefits people across the world. At the solar power lab we focus on the device physics of photovoltaic devices and ways to increase the performance while lowering the cost. We also get out into the community to see how solar power can be used to directly benefi people lives.

New Course - Science and Technology of Solar Cell Fabrication

Spring Session B 2014

This course will focus on the science and technology involved in the manufacturing of solar cells and will provide students with an introduction to important manufacturing concepts such as device design, yields, throughput, process optimisation, reliability, in-line quality control and fault diagnosis. In this class, students will learn about: (i) the fabrication processes of the commercially-dominant screen-printed solar cells; (ii) the impact of various processing and device parameters on performance, yields and product reliability; and (iii) in-line, endof-line and failure-analysis quality control techniques, and (iv) trends in commercial cell technology and the corresponding manufacturing processes. Students will be given the opportunity to take control of a "virtual solar cell production line" to adjust the equipment controls and processing parameters to try and optimise performance and maximise virtual production yields. In-line quality control procedures are available to the student to aid in this optimisation and will prove to be particularly useful in identifying and rectifying weaknesses or problems associated with the production.

New Course - PV Systems

EEE598: Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
Spring 2014

The use of photovoltaics (PV) has increased dramatically over the last years, driven by cost reductions in the PV systems. The goal of the course is to be able to calculate, design and understand the components of PV systems; design and optimize a PV system for a range of PV applications; to be able to calculate and analyze the initial and levelized cost of PV electricity; understand and analyze the reliability of the PV systems; and to understand how non-technical barriers and incentives affect PV Systems.