New Materials for Solar Cells



New Materials for Photovoltaics




These features make it of great interest for application in solar cell and battery design and manufacture.  Information concerning the basic properties of nc-Si, collected from the recent literature are shown in Table 1. In Table 1 the comparison of the properties of the nanocrystalline silicon developed by Enerize is also presenter.

Nanocrystalline silicon is a nano-structured material, which consists of an amorphous matrix and crystallites. Because of such structure it has many advantages as a semiconductor material compared to amorphous silicon. Researchers regard nc-Si as an excellent candidate material for production of efficient, stable, and long-lived thin films for use in devices for the generation of electrical energy.

Advantages of nanocrystalline silicon as compared to amorphous silicon include:

  • Greater electron and hole mobility;

  • Low degradation rates;


  • Ease of processing without use of toxic gases;

  • Controllability of properties over a wide parameter value range by means of changes in crystallite sizes, crystalline volume fraction, and characteristics of inter-phase boundaries;

  • Capability for accepting rare earth element doping over a wide range of concentrations, imparting increased radiation hardness, stability, and UV-conversion at higher photon energies;

  • Simplicity of heterostructure conversion at by controlling parameters of vacuum deposition onto large and flexible substrates  by such processes as electron beam evaporation, and radiofrequency magnetron sputtering.


Table 1. Properties and Parameter Values for Enerize Nanocrystalline Silicon and Compared to Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Silicon Data from the Literature

Overview: To meet the challenges of global energy demands, new materials for electrochemical energy generation and storage devices are constantly under development at Enerize. In creating these materials, we value the use of low-cost and non-toxic starting components wherever possible. Our new materials are designed to help reduce the number of manufacturing steps and the overall cost of manufacture.

Thin films of nanocrystalline / amorphous silicon alloys can be deposited on flexible carriers including polymer films and substrates such as polyimide using Enerize high rate deposition technology.  This process does not use toxic gases or substances and provides a high rate of production. 

Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) can be considered as a new class of semiconductor material in which functional properties can be determined by such processes as doping and control of crystal size and structure. 

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*Is depended on the crystallite size, crystalline volume fraction, & characteristics of inter-phase boundaries.