9783527404285

Physics of Solar Cells : From Principles to New Concepts

by
  • ISBN13:

    9783527404285

  • ISBN10:

    3527404287

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-03-01
  • Publisher: Wiley-VCH

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

Summary

Wurfel's book describes in detail all aspects of solar cell function, the physics behind every single step, as well as all the issues to be considered when improving solar cells and their efficiency. Based on the highly successful German version, but thoroughly revised and updated, this edition contains the latest knowledge on the mechanisms of solar energy conversion. Requiring no more than standard physics knowledge, it enables readers to understand the factors driving conversion efficiency and to apply this knowledge to their own solar cell development.

Author Biography

Peter Wurfel was Professor at the University of Karlsruhe.

Table of Contents

List of Symbols ix
Preface xi
1 Problems of the Energy Economy 1(8)
1.1 Energy economy
1(2)
1.2 Estimate of the maximum reserves of fossil energy
3(2)
1.3 The greenhouse effect
5(4)
1.3.1 Combustion
5(1)
1.3.2 The temperature of the earth
6(3)
2 Photons 9(28)
2.1 Black-body radiation
9(10)
2.1.1 Photon density ηγ in a cavity (Planck's law of radiation)
9(5)
2.1.2 Energy current through an area dΑ into the solid angle dΩ
14(2)
2.1.3 Radiation from a spherical surface into the solid angle dΩ
16(1)
2.1.4 Radiation from a surface element into a hemisphere (Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law)
17(2)
2.2 Kirchhoff's law of radiation for non-black bodies
19(2)
2.2.1 Absorption by semiconductors
21(1)
2.3 The solar spectrum
21(3)
2.3.1 Air Mass
23(1)
2.4 Concentration of the solar radiation
24(5)
2.4.1 The Abbé sine condition
26(1)
2.4.2 Geometrical optics
26(2)
2.4.3 Concentration of radiation using the sine condition
28(1)
2.5 Maximum efficiency of solar energy conversion
29(8)
3 Semiconductors 37(48)
3.1 Electrons in semiconductors
38(7)
3.1.1 Distribution function for electrons
38(1)
3.1.2 Density of states De(epsilone) for electrons
39(4)
3.1.3 Density of electrons
43(2)
3.2 Holes
45(2)
3.3 Doping
47(4)
3.4 Quasi-Fermi distributions
51(7)
3.4.1 Fermi energy and electrochemical potential
53(4)
3.4.2 Work function
57(1)
3.5 Generation of electrons and holes
58(7)
3.5.1 Absorption of photons
59(3)
3.5.2 Generation of electron-hole pairs
62(3)
3.6 Recombination of electrons and holes
65(14)
3.6.1 Radiative recombination, emission of photons
65(2)
3.6.2 Non-radiative recombination
67(10)
3.6.3 Lifetimes
77(2)
3.7 Light emission by semiconductors
79(6)
3.7.1 Transition rates and absorption coefficient
79(6)
4 Conversion of Thermal Radiation into Chemical Energy 85(8)
4.1 Maximum efficiency for the production of chemical energy
88(5)
5 Conversion of Chemical Energy into Electrical Energy 93(16)
5.1 Transport of electrons and holes
93(5)
5.1.1 Field current
94(1)
5.1.2 Diffusion current
95(1)
5.1.3 Total charge current
96(2)
5.2 Separation of electrons and holes
98(3)
5.3 Diffusion length of minority carriers
101(1)
5.4 Dielectric relaxation
102(1)
5.5 Ambipolar diffusion
103(1)
5.6 Dember effect
104(2)
5.7 Mathematical description
106(3)
6 Basic Structure of Solar Cells 109(28)
6.1 A chemical solar cell
109(3)
6.2 Basic mechanisms in solar cells
112(2)
6.3 Dye solar cell
114(1)
6.4 The pn-junction
115(10)
6.4.1 Electrochemical equilibrium of electrons in a pn-junction in the dark
116(1)
6.4.2 Potential distribution across a pn-junction
117(3)
6.4.3 Current-voltage characteristic of the pn-junction
120(5)
6.5 pn-junction with impurity recombination, two-diode model
125(2)
6.6 Hetero-junctions
127(2)
6.7 Semiconductor-metal contact
129(4)
6.7.1 Schottky contact
131(1)
6.7.2 MIS contact
132(1)
6.8 The role of the electric field in solar cells
133(4)
7 Limitations on Energy Conversion in Solar Cells 137(18)
7.1 Maximum efficiency of solar cells
137(3)
7.2 Efficiency of solar cells as a function of their energy gap
140(1)
7.3 The optimal silicon solar cell
141(6)
7.3.1 Light trapping
142(5)
7.4 Thin-film solar cells
147(2)
7.4.1 Minimal thickness of a solar cell
147(2)
7.5 Equivalent circuit
149(1)
7.6 Temperature dependence of the open-circuit voltage
149(2)
7.7 Intensity dependence of the efficiency
151(1)
7.8 Efficiencies of the individual energy conversion processes
151(4)
8 Concepts for Improving the Efficiency of Solar Cells 155(22)
8.1 Tandem cells
155(5)
8.1.1 The electrical interconnection of tandem cells
158(2)
8.2 Concentrator cells
160(1)
8.3 Thermo-photovoltaic energy conversion
161(2)
8.4 Impact ionization
163(5)
8.4.1 Hot electrons from impact ionization
165(1)
8.4.2 Energy conversion with hot electrons and holes
165(3)
8.5 Two-step excitation in three-level systems
168(9)
8.5.1 Impurity photovoltaic effect
168(4)
8.5.2 Up- and down-conversion of photons
172(5)
9 Prospects for the Future 177(4)
Appendix 181(2)
Index 183

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