Three dimensional carbon nanotube based photovoltaics
Flicker, Jack David
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Photovoltaic (PV) cells with a three dimensional (3D) morphology are an exciting new research thrust with promise to create cheaper, more efficient solar cells by allowing for a "bottom up" approach to texturing thin film solar cells. This work introduces a new type of 3D PV device based on carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays. These arrays are paired with the thin film heterojunction, CdTe/CdS, to form a complete 3D carbon nanotube PV device (3DCNTPV). A complete theory for the power increase at off-normal angles of solar flux is developed for these cells. Marriage of a complicated 3D structure with production methods traditionally used for planar CdTe solar cell is challenging. This work examines the problems associated with processing these types of cells and systematically alters production methods of the semiconductor layers and electrodes to increase the short circuit current, eliminate parasitic shunts, and increase the open circuit voltage.