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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Hybrid heterojunction solar cells based on single‐walled carbon nanotubes and amorphous silicon thin films

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Abstract Hybrid heterojunction solar cells based on silicon and single‐walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) thin films have a simple structure and their manufacture employ simple low‐temperature processes. Moreover, their progress has been rapid during the last decade, wherein the efficiency of heterojunction solar cells combining hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a‐Si:H) and SWCNTs thin film has increased from 0.03% to 8.80%. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the state‐of‐the‐art on SWCNTs/a‐Si:H heterojunction solar cells. In addition to a comprehensive technology review, important special features such as adhesion of SWCNT film to a‐Si:H, the interface between SWCNT and a‐Si:H, and their influence on the performance of the heterojunctions are included. Future paths for improving the performance of such solar cells are also suggested. Finally, key challenges and trends for further research and development of SWCNTs/amorphous silicon heterojunction solar cells are discussed. This article is categorized under: Photovoltaics > Science and Materials
Illustration of (a) the SWCNTs film functioning as a p‐type layer in semiconductor/semiconductor p‐i‐n junction; and (b) Schottky junction is formed by a metal/semiconductor interface
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(a) Schematic of the device architecture with optimized TCF (SWCNTs‐MoO3‐PEDOT:PSS/SWCNT fibers composite) as p‐type window layer and front contact; (b) TCF resistance change during 50,000 bending cycles at angles of 20°, 45°, 90°, and 180° with the radii of curvature from 10 to 1.6 in mm−1; (c) J‐V characteristics of TCF solar cell (inset shows (bottom‐left) a photograph of TCF on a polyimide substrate, and (bottom‐right) photograph of the fabricated solar cell on a‐Si using developed TCF showing its transparency); and (d) comparison of J‐V parameters of standard n‐i‐p configured a‐Si:H solar cell with fabricated solar cells using different TCFs (P. M. Rajanna et al., 2019). Reproduced (adapted) with permission from (Nano Energy 2020, 67, 104183) with License Number 4791271297717. Copyright (2020) Elsevier Ltd
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(a) Fabricated PEDOT:PSS‐SWCNT/a‐Si:H solar cell; (b) photo J–V characteristics of PEDOT:PSS‐SWCNT/a‐Si:H, PEDOT:PSS/a‐Si:H and SWCNT/a‐Si:H hybrid solar cells, with inset of a fabricated PEDOT:PSS‐CNT/a‐Si hybrid solar cell (Alekseeva et al., 2018). Reprinted (adapted) with permission from (Phys. Status Solidi B 2018, 255, 1700557) with License Number 4791281444516. Copyright (2017) Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim; (c) characteristics of HSCs fabricated with 20 nm thick SWCNTs film sample: J–V curve comparison without polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and with PMMA for photo and dark current response; and (d) morphological SEM image of: (a) the randomly oriented pristine SWCNT films; (b) uniformly‐coated composite film (PEDOT: PSS‐SWCNT film (P. M. Rajanna et al., 2018). Reprinted (adapted) with permission from (Nanotechnology 29 (2018) 105404 (10PP)) with License ID 1023449‐1. Copyright (2018) IOP Publishing Ltd
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Density of states of pristine and doped (a) semiconducting; (b) metallic SWCNTs, respectively; and (c) absorbance spectra of pristine, ethanol densified, and HNO3 functionalized SWCNTs film
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(a) The schematic of a‐Si:H single junction solar cells with SWCNTs; (b) J‐V curves of a‐Si:H solar cells with SWCNTs without any interface treatment at the p +/SWCNT interface and a‐Si:H solar cells with ZnO:Al without SWCNTs as a control sample; (c) J‐V curves of a‐Si:H solar cells with SWCNTs with gold nanodots at the p +/SWCNT interface and a‐Si:H solar cells with ZnO:Al and without SWCNTs as a control sample (J. Kim et al., 2012). Reproduced (adapted) with permission from (Advanced Materials 2012, 24, 1899–1902) with License Number 4791270600660. Copyright (2012) Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim; (d) schematic of the aerosol CVD synthesized SWCNTs/a‐Si:Hdevice structure; and (e) J–V characteristics for forward and reverse scans at dark (black) and AM 1.5 illumination (red) for the HF‐treated intrinsic a‐Si:H and SOCl2 doped SWCNTs film as p‐type window layer (Funde et al., 2016). Reprinted (adapted) with permission from (Nanotechnology 27 (2016) 185401 (6PP)) with License ID 1023448‐1. Copyright (2016) IOP Publishing Ltd
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(a) A schematic of device structure. a‐Si:H is PECVD deposited on patterned ITO substrates. Either SiO2 or Al2O3 is deposited on top, and a window is patterned and etched. A carbon film is deposited over the window; (b) illuminated J‐V curves for buckypaper on a‐Si:H cells (Schriver et al., 2010). Reproduced (adapted) with permission from (Solid State Communications 2010, 150, 561–563) with License Number 4791270080232. Copyright (2010) Elsevier Ltd; (c) a cross‐sectional view of the device design of SWCNTs film as window layer on a‐Si:H; and (d) EQE spectra of the SWCNT/a‐Si:H device recorded as a function of the incident light wavelength for several SWCNT spraying times. In the inset the EQE spectrum of a 10 nm Au film covering the same a‐Si:H device (Del Gobbo et al., 2011). Reproduced (adapted) with permission from (Applied Physics Letters 2011, 98, 183113) with License Number 4791270287667. Copyright (2011) American Institute of Physics
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