Effect of Silicon Nanowire on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Characteristics

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Electrical and Electronic Department, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

2 Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran


Nanowires (NWs) are recently used in several sensor or actuator devices to improve their ordered characteristics. Silicon nanowire (Si NW) is one of the most attractive one-dimensional nanostructures semiconductors because of its unique electrical and optical properties. In this paper, silicon nanowire (Si NW), is synthesized and characterized for application in photovoltaic device. Si NWs are prepared using wet chemical etching method which is commonly used as a simple and low cost method for producing nanowires of the same substrate material. The process conditions are adjusted to find the best quality of Si NWs. Morphology of Si NWs is studied using a field emission scanning electron microscopic technique. An energy dispersive X-Ray analyzer is also used to provide elemental identification and quantitative compositional information. Subsequently, Schottky type solar cell samples are fabricated on Si and Si NWs using ITO and Ag contacts. The junction properties are calculated using I-V curves in dark condition and the solar cell I-V characteristics are obtained under incident of the standardized light of AM1.5. The results for the two mentioned Schottky solar cell samples are compared and discussed. An improvement in short circuit current and efficiency of Schottky solar cell is found when Si nanowires are employed.


1. Garnett EC, Peters C, Brongersma M, Cui Y, McGehee M. Silicon nanowire hybrid photovoltaics. InPhotovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2010 35th IEEE 2010 Jun 20 (pp. 000934-000938). IEEE.
2. Tsakalakos L, Balch J, Fronheiser J, Korevaar BA, Sulima O, Rand J. Silicon nanowire solar cells. Applied Physics Letters. 2007;91(23):233117.
3. Liu CW, Cheng CL, Dai BT, Yang CH, Wang JY. Fabrication and photovoltaic characteristics of coaxial silicon nanowire solar cells prepared by wet chemical etching. International Journal of Photoenergy. 2012;701809; doi: 10.1155/2012/701809
4. Kumar D, Srivastava SK, Singh PK, Husain M, Kumar V. Fabrication of silicon nanowire arrays based solar cell with improved performance. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2011;95(1):215-8.
5. Hutagalung SD, Tan AS, Tan RY, Wahab Y. Vertically aligned silicon nanowires fabricated by electroless etching of silicon wafer. InSoutheast Asian International Advances in Micro/Nano-technology 2010 Mar 25 (pp. 774305-774305). International Society for Optics and Photonics.
6. Chen J. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Kentucky.2013.
7. Baruch P, De Vos A, Landsberg PT, Parrott JE. On some thermodynamic aspects of photovoltaic solar energy conversion. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 1995;36(2):201-22.
8. Schroder DK. Semiconductor material and device characterization. John Wiley & Sons; 2006.
9. Green MA. Solar cell fill factors: General graph and empirical expressions. Solid-State Electronics. 1981;24(8):788-9.