Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Second Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Third Advisor

Halina Opyrchal

Fourth Advisor

Balraj Subra Mani

Fifth Advisor

Willis B. Hammond

Abstract

Silicon is the preeminent solar cell material of the day because it is the first semiconductor that was learned to commercialize and continues to be the principal semiconducting material used in photovoltaic technology for the manufacture of solar cells. Silicon, an indirect band gap semiconducting material, has a reflectance of about 30% in the visible range of wavelengths. Standard Silicon solar cells are not entirely useful in the infrared spectrum region. In order to enhance the performance of Silicon solar cells, reflectance losses must be minimized and absorption must be maximized. In the solar cell industry, anti-reflection (AR) coating is used to suppress reflection losses. AR coatings are limited in use because they only reduce the reflectance for a narrow range of wavelengths and incident angle since their functionality is based on a quarter-wavelength coating. Surface texturing is a technique, by which the reflectivity is reduced. Black Silicon is a material with surface roughness in the micron scale. Black Silicon, when used instead of Crystalline Silicon, offers the possibility to increase the absorption of light in the visible and infrared range of wavelengths. Black Silicon has a very low reflectivity in the visible range of wavelengths. It exhibits high absorptance in the visible and infrared region. The main objective of this thesis is to study the various fabrication techniques used to form Black Silicon, present a comparative study of structural differences and analyze its optical properties by simulation and compare them with the simulated and experimental optical properties of Black Silicon and Crystalline Silicon.

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