Nanostructured Solar Cells for High Efficiency Photovoltaics
The use of nanostructures in photovoltaics offers the potential for high efficiency by either using new physical mechanisms or by allowing solar cells which have efficiencies closer to their theoretical maximum, for example by tailoring material properties. At the same time, nanostructures have potentially low fabrication costs, moving to structures or materials which can be fabricated using chemically or biologically formed materials. Despite this potential, there are multiple and significant challenges in achieving viable nano structured solar cells, ranging from the demonstration of the fundamental mechanisms, device-level issues such as transport mechanisms and device structures and materials to implement nano structured solar cells, and low cost fabrication techniques to implement high performance designs. This paper presents the challenges and approaches for using nano structured solar cells in devices which can approach the thermodynamic limits for solar energy conversion.