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Title: Mathematical modelling of electronic contact mechanisms in silicon photovoltaic cells
Author: Black, Jonathan Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 4952
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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In screen-printed silicon-crystalline solar cells, the contact resistance of a thin interfacial glass layer between the silicon and the silver electrode plays a limiting role for electron transport. The motivation of this project is to gain increased understanding of the transport mechanisms of the electrons across this layer, which can be exploited to provide higher performance crystalline silicon solar cells. Our methodology throughout is to formulate and analyse mathematical models for the electron transport, based on the drift diffusion equations. In the first chapter we outline the problem and provide a summary of relevant theory. In Chapter 2 we formulate a one-dimensional model for electron transport across the glass layer, that we solve both numerically and by employing asymptotic techniques. Chapter 3 extends the model presented in Chapter 2 to two dimensions. To solve the two-dimensional model numerically we devise and validate a new spectral method. The short circuiting of current through thinner regions of the glass layer enables us to find limiting asymptotic expressions for the average current density for two different canonical glass layer profiles. In Chapter 4 we include quantum mechanical effects into the one-dimensional model outlined in Chapter 2 and find that they have a negligible effect on the contact resistance of the glass layer. We model the boundary effects present at the silicon emitter-glass interface in Chapter 5. Finally, in Chapter 6 we summarise our key results, suggest possible future work, and outline the implications of our work to crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturers.
Supervisor: Howell, Pete ; Breward, Chris Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Applied Mathematics ; Mathematical modelling ; Asymptotic analysis ; Electrochemical systems ; Drift-diffusion