Invited: Atmospheric-Pressure Plasmas Processes for Third Generation Photovoltaics
In this contribution we will present recent advances in both the synthesis and surface engineering of quantum confined silicon-based nanoparticles [2-5]. In particular we will discuss a range of synthesis methods that rely on atmospheric pressure plasmas for producing crystalline silicon nanoparticles as well as alloyed silicon-tin nanoparticles; these will include laser-produced plasmas, rf-APPs and plasmas in liquids. The analysis will include, in some of the cases, theoeretical models that highlight key mechanisms of nanoparticle heating .
We will then discuss the integration of silicon-based nanoparticles in photovoltaic devices, demonstrating their contribution as down-converters and/or as part of the active layer. In this context we will show how APP-based surface engineering can offer great opportunities for tailoring surface properties of the nanoparticles. Device parameters will be presented and analysed for different device architectures.
Finally, tha applicability of APPs in different aspect of photovoltaic device fabrication will be discussed presenting opportunities and challenges for large scale nanomanufacturing.
This work was partially supported by a NEDO project, the Royal Society International Exchange Scheme (IE120884), the Leverhulme International Network (IN-2012-136) and EPSRC (EP/K022237/1). DM also acknowledges the support of the JSPS Bridge Fellowship. SM and SA thank the financial support of the University of Ulster Vice-Chancellor Studentship.
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