College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

US Department of Energy’s computing facility features Iowa State research on silicon solar cells

Proposed thin-film crystalline silicon solar cell architecture

Research led by Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Adjunct Professor Rana Biswas recently was featured in an article on the website for the United States Department of Energy high-performance computing facility National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. The research piece, titled “Nano-Photonic Structures for Light Trapping in Ultra-Thin Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells,” was published in January in the journal Nanomaterials and describes a highly absorbing ultra-thin crystalline silicon solar cell architecture with enhanced light trapping capabilities. The collaborative work on the project was performed by Prathap Pathi, visiting research scientist from National Physical Laboratory of India, and Akshit Peer, Ph. D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State.

The researchers proposed the use of periodically patterned titanium dioxide nanocone gratings on the front and rear surfaces of thin silicone to increase the trapping of red and long-wavelength infrared light. The nanocone gratings can be fabricated using nanoimprint lithography in a rather inexpensive way.

To read the research piece, visit Nanomaterials’ publication here.