The New Era for Photovoltaics: The Nitride Semiconductor

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Amidst the growing demands for efficient and low‐cost large‐scale cells, thin‐film photovoltaics have emerged as a technology capable of being an adequate substitute for the photo-absorbers currently in use which contains expensive, toxic elements, and requires elaborate optimization of the heterostructures for improving the efficiency. The synthetic methodology for high‐quality p‐type and n‐type films paves the way for the application of copper nitride (Cu3N) as an alternative absorber in thin‐film PV. By using a unique nitriding technique applicable for mass production and a computational search for appropriate doping elements, Tokyo Institute of Technology has depicted that copper nitride acts as an n-type semiconductor, with p-type conduction provided by fluorine doping.

Thin film photovoltaics have same effectiveness and are cost-effective amongst the market-dominating silicon solar panels. The layers of particular p-type and n-type materials are sandwiched together to deliver power from sunlight with the help of the photovoltaic impact.

Despite the utilization of toxic and uncommon materials as a part of popularized thin film sun oriented cells, the innovation assures a brighter future for sun-powered vitality. For creating cleaner, less expensive thin-film photovoltaics, the Tokyo Institute of Technology group has tested to locate another applicant material. Matsuzaki and his collaborators have figured out the solution by presenting a novel catalytic reaction route utilizing alkali and oxidant gas with p-type and n-type conduction, beneficial to design a highly efficient solar cell structure. This material is an ideal replacement for Cadmium telluride and Copper indium gallium diselenide thin-film solar cells as it is non-toxic, abundant, and inexpensive.