Enhanced Erbium-Doped Ceria Nanostructure Coating to Improve Solar Cell Performance
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This paper discusses the effect of adding reduced erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles (REDC NPs) as a coating on silicon solar cells. Reduced ceria nanoparticles doped with erbium have the advantages of both improving conductivity and optical conversion of solar cells. Oxygen vacancies in ceria nanoparticles reduce Ce4+ to Ce3+ which follow the rule of improving conductivity of solar cells through the hopping mechanism. The existence of Ce3+ helps in the down-conversion from 430 nm excitation to 530 nm emission. The erbium dopant forms energy levels inside the low-phonon ceria host to up-convert the 780 nm excitations into green and red emissions. When coating reduced erbium-doped ceria nanoparticles on the back side of a solar cell, a promising improvement in the solar cell efficiency has been observed from 15% to 16.5% due to the mutual impact of improved electric conductivity and multi-optical conversions. Finally, the impact of the added coater on the electric field distribution inside the solar cell has been studied.