Article abstract


Nature Materials 7, 907 - 915 (2008)
Published online: 5 October 2008 | doi:10.1038/nmat2287

Subject Categories: Optical, photonic and optoelectronic materials | Materials for energy

Ultrathin silicon solar microcells for semitransparent, mechanically flexible and microconcentrator module designs

Jongseung Yoon1,2,3,8, Alfred J. Baca3,4,8, Sang-Il Park1,2,3, Paulius Elvikis5, Joseph B. Geddes, III2, Lanfang Li1,4, Rak Hwan Kim1,2,3, Jianliang Xiao6, Shuodao Wang6, Tae-Ho Kim1,2,3, Michael J. Motala3,4, Bok Yeop Ahn1,3, Eric B. Duoss1,3, Jennifer A. Lewis1,3, Ralph G. Nuzzo1,3,4, Placid M. Ferreira5, Yonggang Huang6,7, Angus Rockett1 & John A. Rogers1,2,3,4,5


The high natural abundance of silicon, together with its excellent reliability and good efficiency in solar cells, suggest its continued use in production of solar energy, on massive scales, for the foreseeable future. Although organics, nanocrystals, nanowires and other new materials hold significant promise, many opportunities continue to exist for research into unconventional means of exploiting silicon in advanced photovoltaic systems. Here, we describe modules that use large-scale arrays of silicon solar microcells created from bulk wafers and integrated in diverse spatial layouts on foreign substrates by transfer printing. The resulting devices can offer useful features, including high degrees of mechanical flexibility, user-definable transparency and ultrathin-form-factor microconcentrator designs. Detailed studies of the processes for creating and manipulating such microcells, together with theoretical and experimental investigations of the electrical, mechanical and optical characteristics of several types of module that incorporate them, illuminate the key aspects.

Top
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA
  2. Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA
  3. Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA
  4. Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA
  5. Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA
  6. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
  7. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
  8. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: John A. Rogers1,2,3,4,5 e-mail: jrogers@uiuc.edu



MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.

REVIEWS

Molecular printing

Nature Chemistry Perspective (01 Aug 2009)

See all 4 matches for Reviews

NEWS AND VIEWS

Photovoltaics Solar cells on curtains

Nature Materials News and Views (01 Nov 2008)

Materials science Solar cells go round the bend

Nature News and Views (09 Oct 2008)

See all 5 matches for News And Views

RESEARCH

Surrogate Endpoints for the Treatment of Venous Leg Ulcers

Journal of Investigative Dermatology Original Article

Supplementary Information

Nature Materials Letter (01 Oct 2010)

See all 31 matches for Research