The Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS) announced on November 20 that its research team, led by Dr. Jung Yong-soo, has developed a technology to make eco-friendly thin-film silicon solar cells without using toxic gases such as diborane or phosphine.
The toxic gases are usually used to produce the p-type, n-type, and light absorption layers in existing thin-film solar cells (TFSCs). Supposing that people work 8 hours a day, humans should not be exposed to more than 0.3ppm of these gases. As a carcinogen, phosphine is believed to cause respiratory tract damage or neurological damage.
The research team has developed a method that does not utilize toxic gases by replacing the p-type and n-type layers with those of metallic oxides and electrodes. This technology can be used for the LCD-producing equipment.
In addition, it was confirmed that light stability had more than doubled with the new technology. The optical conversion efficiency of the newly-developed thin-film silicon solar cells remains in the range of 8%, falling short of 10% efficiency in the conversion of sunlight into electricity for commercialization.
Dr. Jung said, “This technology is an original one that can solve existing problems,” adding, “Our team is conducting a follow-up study to increase the optical conversion efficiency by 10% and possibly more with a new method and new materials.”
This study was published in Applied Physics Letters and the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.