Today, the silicon feedstock for photovoltaic cells comes from processes which were originally developed for the microelectronic industry. It covers almost 90% of the photovoltaic market, with mass production volume at least one order of magnitude larger than those devoted to microelectronics.
However, it is hard to imagine that this kind of feedstock (extremely pure but heavily penalized by its high energy cost) could remain the only source of silicon for a photovoltaic market which is in continuous expansion, and which has a cumulative growth rate in excess of 30% in the last few years. Even though reports suggest that the silicon share will slowly decrease in the next twenty years, finding a way to manufacture a specific solar grade feedstock in large quantities, at a low cost while maintaining the quality needed, still remains a crucial issue. Thin film and quantum confinement-based silicon cells might be a complementary solution.
Advanced Silicon Materials for Photovoltaic Applications has been designed to describe the full potentialities of silicon as a multipurpose material and covers:
- Physical, chemical and structural properties of silicon
- Production routes including the promise of low cost feedstock for PV applications
- Defect engineering and the role of impurities and defects
- Characterization techniques, and advanced analytical techniques for metallic and non-metallic impurities
- Thin film silicon and thin film solar cells
- Innovative quantum effects, and 3rd generation solar cells
With contributions from internationally recognized authorities, this book gives a comprehensive analysis of the state-of-the-art of process technologies and material properties, essential for anyone interested in the application and development of photovoltaics.
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