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      Numerical investigations of the impact of buffer germanium composition and low cost fabrication of Cu 2O on AZO/ZnGeO/Cu 2O solar cell performances


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          Numerical simulations of AZO/Zn 1− x Ge x O/Cu 2O solar cell are performed in order to model for the first time the impact of the germanium composition of the ZnGeO buffer layer on the photovoltaic conversion efficiency. The physical parameters of the model are chosen with special care to match literature experimental measurements or are interpolated using the values from binary metal oxides in the case of the new Zn 1− x Ge x O compound. The solar cell model accuracy is then confirmed thanks to the comparison of its predictions with measurements from the literature that were done on experimental devices obtained by thermal oxidation. This validation of the AZO/Zn 1− x Ge x O/Cu 2O model then allows to study the impact of the use of the low cost, environmental friendly and industrially compatible spray pyrolysis process on the solar cell efficiency. To that aim, the Cu 2O absorber layer parameters are adjusted to typical values obtained by the spray pyrolysis process by selecting state of the art experimental data. The analysis of the impact of the absorber layer thickness, the carrier mobility, the defect and doping concentration on the solar cell performances allows to draw guidelines for ZnGeO/Cu 2O thin film photovoltaic device realization through spray pyrolysis.

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          Tabulated values of the Shockley–Queisser limit for single junction solar cells

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            Materials Availability Expands the Opportunity for Large-Scale Photovoltaics Deployment

            Solar photovoltaics have great promise for a low-carbon future but remain expensive relative to other technologies. Greatly increased penetration of photovoltaics into global energy markets requires an expansion in attention from designs of high-performance to those that can deliver significantly lower cost per kilowatt-hour. To evaluate a new set of technical and economic performance targets, we examine material extraction costs and supply constraints for 23 promising semiconducting materials. Twelve composite materials systems were found to have the capacity to meet or exceed the annual worldwide electricity consumption of 17,000 TWh, of which nine have the potential for a significant cost reduction over crystalline silicon. We identify a large material extraction cost (cents/watt) gap between leading thin film materials and a number of unconventional solar cell candidates including FeS2, CuO, and Zn3P2. We find that devices performing below 10% power conversion efficiencies deliverthe same lifetime energy output as those above 20% when a 3/4 material reduction is achieved. Here, we develop a roadmap emphasizing low-cost alternatives that could become a dominant new approach for photovoltaics research and deployment.
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              Assessing capability of semiconductors to split water using ionization potentials and electron affinities only.

              We show in this article that the position of semiconductor band edges relative to the water reduction and oxidation levels can be reliably predicted from the ionization potentials (IP) and electron affinities (AE) only. Using a set of 17 materials, including transition metal compounds, we show that accurate surface dependent IPs and EAs of semiconductors can be computed by combining density functional theory and many-body GW calculations. From the extensive comparison of calculated IPs and EAs with available experimental data, both from photoemission and electrochemical measurements, we show that it is possible to sort candidate materials solely from IPs and EAs thereby eliminating explicit treatment of semiconductor/water interfaces. We find that at pH values corresponding to the point of zero charge there is on average a 0.5 eV shift of IPs and EAs closer to the vacuum due to the dipoles formed at material/water interfaces.

                Author and article information

                EPJ Photovoltaics
                EPJ Photovolt.
                EDP Sciences
                18 June 2021
                18 June 2021
                : 12
                : ( publisher-idID: epjpv/2021/01 )
                : 3
                Université de Lorraine, CentraleSupélec, LMOPS, , F-57000 Metz, France,
                Author notes
                Author information
                © C. Chevallier et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2021

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 11 January 2021
                : 23 April 2021
                : 21 May 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 2, Equations: 19, References: 60, Pages: 12
                Funded by: Ministère de l'Europe et Affaires Etrangères, programme Partenariats Hubert Curien (PHC) Hibiscus géré par CampusFrance
                Award ID: 43850PK
                Funded by: Lorraine Université d’Excellence (LUE)
                Award ID: R01PJUUX
                Regular Article
                Custom metadata
                EPJ Photovoltaics 12, 3 (2021)

                Sustainable & Green chemistry,Materials technology,Semiconductors,Materials for energy,Technical & Applied physics,Renewable energy
                ZnGeO,numerical simulation,germanium composition,Cu2O,Photovoltaic,solar cell model,metal oxide,low cost fabrication


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