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Nanoscale Res Lett. 2013 Nov 6;8(1):466. doi: 10.1186/1556-276X-8-466.

a-Si:H/SiNW shell/core for SiNW solar cell applications.

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Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi 43600, Malaysia.


Vertically aligned silicon nanowires have been synthesized by the chemical etching of silicon wafers. The influence of a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layer (shell) on top of a silicon nanowire (SiNW) solar cell has been investigated. The optical properties of a-Si:H/SiNWs and SiNWs are examined in terms of optical reflection and absorption properties. In the presence of the a-Si:H shell, 5.2% reflection ratio in the spectral range (250 to 1,000 nm) is achieved with a superior absorption property with an average over 87% of the incident light. In addition, the characteristics of the solar cell have been significantly improved, which exhibits higher open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, and efficiency by more than 15%, 12%, and 37%, respectively, compared with planar SiNW solar cells. Based on the current-voltage measurements and morphology results, we show that the a-Si:H shell can passivate the defects generated by wet etching processes.

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