In this paper, results of designing, fabricating and characterizing photovoltaic devices made from tailored silicon nanoparticles are shown as proof-of-principle to adopt this material into the photovoltaic sector. The silicon nanoparticles are used as active material for direct separation of the light induced charge carriers. Homo pn-junctions were constructed by silicon wafers and silicon nanocrystals, the latter doped with the opposite carrier type than the wafers. Nanocrystals were sintered on top of the wafer by a spark plasma sintering process, maintaining the nanocrystalline character. This way, the nanoparticle layers are a combined absorbing and charge separating medium. Electrical characterization measurements of the devices show a reproducible short-circuit current of up to 20 µA under illumination. A maximum short-circuit current density of 6.25 µA/cm2 was realized.
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Rier, C., Schierning, G., Wiggers, H. et al. Photovoltaic Devices from Silicon Nanoparticles. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1260, 1039 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1260-T10-39