Characterisation and Modelling Techniques (PP1.4)
PP1.4 Characterisation and Modelling Techniques
This work package aims to develop reliable and timely measurement and analytical methodologies, including theoretical modelling, to evaluate the critical properties of silicon solar cells and materials used in their fabrication. It also aims to create the required knowledge base necessary to maximise efficiency and durability, reduce cost, and enhance the manufacturability of photovoltaic devices.
Innovation in science and technology requires the support of characterisation and modelling. This is critical for any level of research – from investigating fundamental properties of materials and operating principles of solar cells, to developing high-efficiency solar cells and modules.
Understanding material properties in the raw silicon material and during fabrication, helps identify potential problems of final devices and their root causes in the early stages. The knowledge also assists the development of new materials and device structures to improve efficiency. This will help lower the manufacturing cost and increase the power generated, therefore reducing the cost of PV electricity.
However, monitoring and characterising various efficiency-loss mechanisms during and post fabrication remains challenging, particularly as device complexity and size continue to increase. Furthermore, important material and device properties including structural, chemical, electrical, and optical parameters can be unintentionally altered both during fabrication and in operation. Therefore, there is an increasing requirement for a holistic multi-scale approach in characterisation and modelling, from the understanding of microscopic defects and how they can be mitigated through the performance evaluation of solar cells and modules.
Equipped with state-of-the-art characterisation tools, ACAP researchers have developed important new characterisation and modelling techniques in recent years to quantify fundamental properties of photovoltaic materials such as their abilities to absorb and emit light. They have also developed new imaging and spectroscopy techniques to capture electrical and optical parameters of solar cells and modules at various fabrication stages and under real-world conditions.
By leveraging their established knowledge and expertise, ACAP aims to continue advancing the understanding from microscopic materials to the full cell analytics and module measurement and imaging, capturing the structural, chemical, electrical, and optical properties of various components used by the different silicon solar cell technologies, as well as to develop fast and reliable techniques to monitor and quantify these properties.
Investigators: Ziv Hameiri (UNSW), Bram Hoex (UNSW), Malcolm Abbott (UNSW), Hieu Nguyen (ANU), Kean Chern Fong (ANU), Marco Ernst (ANU), Lachlan Black (ANU)
The expected outcome of this work package is the development of a range of new characterisation and modelling techniques, as well as the necessary knowledge to advance silicon solar cell technologies. It will support all the activities spanning from ACAP's Material, Surfaces to Device Fabrication in the Silicon Solar Cells Program (PP1).
Australia has a strong history of successful commercialisation of both novel characterisation methods and systems, and of innovative platforms for device and system modelling. We expect that the activities within this work package will result in significant commercial opportunities.