Forming Gradient Multilayer (GML) Nano Films for Photovoltaic and Energy Storage Applications


For successful implementation of the nanomaterial-based PV and Energy storage devices there is a need for well-structured nano films consisting of a strictly controlled sequence of nanoparticle layers. Most promising nano-films include a “built-in” gradient of a nanoparticle size and/or material composition across the part or entire thickness of the film. Such Gradient Multilayer (GML) nano films will be able to significantly improve a PV efficiency of the 3rd generation Solar Cells and Energy storage devices. The development of GML-based devices is presently limited by lack of simple, inexpensive, scalable, and production-worthy deposition methods that are capable of forming GML nano-film on PV-suitable substrates such as flexible materials.

The proposed concept describes novel principles of an advanced non-conventional deposition of the highly efficient GML nano films.

The proposed GML deposition method is based on the phenomena of Flying Particles (FP). According to the FP-methods a pre-selected mix of nanoparticles (NP) of various size and/or material composition is deposited on a flexible (or other) substrate in a pre-defined order of NP size and/or composition thus forming GML nano film. Deposited GML film comprises a sequence of size-tuned and/or composition-tuned NP layers, which has a potential for significant increase of PV efficiency.

The deposition process includes the NPs launch and flight through a resistant gas ambient. Due to the Stokes aerodynamic laws the FP times-to-target will be different for NP of a different size and/or density (material composition). Simulation is presented to confirm the separation of FP”s of a different size and/or density during their motion through the low-pressure gas. The calculations have been made for the initial stages of the FP process thus establishing the most efficient parameters of the process. Resultant GML nano films are expected to have superior qualities, particularly for building high efficiency / low cost PV panels. The FP-method allows for a fast development and easy implementation in PV manufacturing.

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Correspondence to Boris Gilman.

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Gilman, B., Altman, I. Forming Gradient Multilayer (GML) Nano Films for Photovoltaic and Energy Storage Applications. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1323, 303 (2011).

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