The design of anti-reflective coatings for a quantum cascade laser emitting light in the mid-infrared rangeBennett, Agatha Karen 10 December 2013 (has links)
Quantum cascade lasers (QCL) are semiconductor lasers that emit radiation in the mid-infrared to the terahertz (THz) range. External cavity quantum cascade lasers are broadly tunable mid-infrared and even THz laser sources that have a wide variety of applications in spectroscopy, sensing, imaging and other areas. Anti-reflection (AR) coatings, when applied on the laser facet reduce parasitic lasing, increase spectrum purity and tuning range, are crucial for good performance of external cavity systems. This report describes the process of determining the thickness of a double layer AR coating, applying the coatings to a quantum cascade laser and testing its reflectivity in the mid-infrared range. We determined the thickness of each layer of the AR coatings by building a propagation matrix model using Mathematica. We applied the coatings of Al2O3 and ZnSe using an Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition and a Sputtering Deposition system. Finally we tested the reflectivity of the laser by measuring a change in threshold current. The initial reflectivity of 30% was reduced to 7.7% with the addition of the AR coatings. / text
11 November 2009
Recently, the skills to reduce the solar cell reflectance at oblique incidence to enhance the overall efficiency of solar cells attracted much attention. the relationships between geometric structures, aspect ratios (depth over width) and sizes of the anti-reflective film (AR film) with the angles of incidence by using an optical simulation software "TracePro ". Simulation results showed that the anti-reflection effect produced by the trench structure is much lower than that of the plane structure. Structure of the higher aspect ratio and smaller size can also be effective in improving anti-reflection. PDMS was chosen as the material to construct an anti-reflective layer. Then, the study used optic lithography techniques to produce square-column structures with aspect ratios of 0.5 and 2 and also four pyramid structures of sizes 20,40,60,80 microns. Using a solar simulator we measured and calculated efficiency in generation of power with respect to different angles of incidence. At angle of incidence at 60 degrees, structure with aspect ratio of 2 obtained 14.7% higher efficiency in power generation than that of structure with ratio of 0.5. Decrease in size also enhanced efficiency. Also at 60 degrees of incidence, pyramid structure of 20um obtained over 19.6% of generating capacity than that of pyramid structure of 80um . At last, etching of PDMS surface was completed using carbon tetra fluoride (CF4) plasma. The PDMS surface thus became random nano-structure. Using Electron microscopy, the desired feature was discovered to become a micron-level structure if the processing time of plasma etching exceeds 4 hours. Two types of structures were produced by CF4 plasma etching, that by processing time of 2 hours and 4 hours on the AR film, respectively. At a 60-degree angle of incidence, AR film by 4 hours of etching obtained 18.8% greater generating capacity than that of AR film by 2 hours of etching.
26 July 2010
For the shortage of energy and the environmental issues, the development of solar cells has become an important technology. However, solar cells have low efficiency of energy conversion due to their high surface reflection on a flat Si substrate which is 38 %. To decrease the surface reflectance of the silicon solar cells, anti-reflection coatings (ARCs) are proposed on the solar cells. We use Lighttools software to investigate several kinds of ARCs to decrease the surface reflectance. We first consider the reflectance of the single-layer ARC with quarter wavelength. It can effectively decrease about 30 % surface reflection as compared with a flat Si substrate. The half-cylinder texture and the wave texture are designed on a PMMA single-layer coating. It is found that the half-cylinder ARC and the wave ARC can usefully diminish the surface reflectance for perpendicular light. Low reflectance can be achieved in the hemispherical microlens ARCs over an extended spectral region for omnidirectional incident light. The impact of the microlens sizes, periods, and arrangements are investigated. The lowest normal reflectance of the closely-packed triangular-lattice hemispherical microlens ARC is 4.8%. By adding smaller hemispherical microlenses, the surface reflectance of the hemispherical microlens ARC can be as low as 1.86 %. To obtain the lowest average surface reflectance, both-sided patterned surface texture ARCs are designed. Their lowest average surface reflectance is 2.24%. Finally, we simulate the reflectance of the nanowire ARCs. The influence of the wire length and the angle of inclination are discussed for high-efficiency and low-cost solar cells.
09 July 2004
The thesis consists of two aspects: (1) Research on regrowth by molecular beam epitaxy, and (2) Silicon monoxide coating. In part one, we used (NH4)2Sx to passivate the InAlGaAs/InP surface. From the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), the passivated surface shows a dramatic reduce of oxidation. A preparation chamber for the regrowth has been setup to proceed the sulfur passivation method. We can obtain a clean surface for regrowth after heating and putting samples in the high vacuum chamber. In the design of regrowth layers, we have found the best waveguide structure by regrowth. When the ridge width is 2.5 mm with etching depth 1.4 mm, a circular mode profile can be obtained by Fimmwave simulation. In the integration between devices, we have designed the best waveguide structure after regrowth by BeamProp 3D. The best design will make the propagation loss smaller than 0.21%. The second part is anti-reflection (AR) coating by silicon monoxide (SiO) deposition. The SiO refractive index of 1.8837 was obtained by transmission, and ellipsometer measurements. The corresponding AR coating thickness for InP substrate is 2057 Å. In order to make AR coating on lasers of different effective index, we design the double-layer coating. For Beam Expander Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (BESOA), SiO2 / SiO and Si3NX / SiO double-layer coatings were compared with SiO single layer. The reflectance (R) was reduced 16.86 % and 25.12 %, respectively, and the R < 1% bandwidth extends 200 Å.
25 July 2012
In this study, we prepare the zinc oxide nanotip with aqueous solution deposited on ZnO nucleation layer. The thermal annealing with N2 ambiance at 300 oC for 1 hr increase the UV emission and decrease the defects. We use ZnO nanotip as an anti-reflection layer because of surface roughness and optical interference. ZnO nanotip with rough surface decreases reflection, so we use ZnO nanotip as an anti-reflection layer, after grown ZnO nanotip on solar cell the efficiency of solar cell was enhancement. The coordination modes were measured by Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR). The physical properties were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD). The optical properties were measured by Micro-photoluminescence (Micro-PL). The morphology was observed by field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). The performance of the cells was measured by a semiconductor device analyzer. In our results, we grow the high performance of ZnO nanotip on solar cell to increase the efficiency. The short-circuit current increased from 42 to 51 mA, and the efficiency increased from 15.7 to 18.8 %.
06 July 2007
A simple and high efficient wet etching technique for fabricating pyramid textures on (100) Si wafer is proposed. Conventionally, pyramid textures were formed on Si wafers to reduce reflections using KOH anisotropic etching. Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) is often added to the solution to abate the bubbling effect caused by hydrogen released form the Si surfaces during reaction. In this study, a metal net with proper opening dimension was used as a shelter to trap the hydrogen from leaving the surfaces of Si, and therefore turns the hydrogen gas into a gas-type etching mask during the anisotropic etching. In this way, pyramid textures with dimensions range from 3µm to 8µm were successfully fabricated. The measured average reflectivity of the texture for incident optical wave length from 400nm to 1000nm is less than 18%.
Light reflection from the glass surface of a photovoltaic (PV) module is a significant source of energy loss for all types of PV devices. The reflection at the glass and air interface accounts for ~4% of the total energy. Single layer anti-reflection coatings with sufficiently low refractive index have been used, such as those using magnesium fluoride or porous silica, but these are only effective over a narrow range of wavelengths. Multilayer-antireflection coatings reduce the weighted average reflection over the wavelength range used by solar technologies more effectively by utilising interference effects. Multilayer stacks consisting of silica and zirconia layers deposited using reactive magnetron sputtering and single layer porous silica coatings were compared in terms of effectiveness and durability. Details of the stack design, sputter deposition process parameters, and the optical and micro-structural properties of the layers of the multilayer coating are provided and similar properties where applicable for the single layer coatings. Anti-reflection coatings on glass exposed to the outdoors must not degrade over the lifetime of the module. A comprehensive set of accelerated environmental durability tests has been carried out in accordance with IEC 61646 PV qualification tests. The durability tests confirmed no damage to the coatings or performance drop as a result of thermal cycling or damp heat. All attempts to perform pull tests on either coating resulted in either adhesive or substrate failure, with no damage to the coating itself. Scratch resistance, abrasion resistance, and adhesion tests have also been conducted. The optical performance of the coatings was monitored during these tests and the coatings were visually inspected for any sign of mechanical failure. These tests provide confidence that broadband anti-reflection coatings are highly durable and will maintain their performance over the lifetime of the solar module. Additionally heat treatment experiments demonstrated both coatings can withstand up to 600°C temperatures and can thereby withstand CdTe manufacturing processes allowing for pre-coated glass. Additionally experiments demonstrated that multi-layer coatings are resistant to acid attack. Thin film photovoltaic devices are multilayer opto-electrical structures in which light interference occurs. Light reflection at the interfaces and absorption within the window layers reduces transmission and, ultimately, the conversion efficiency of photovoltaic devices. Optical reflection losses can be reduced by adjusting the layer thicknesses to achieve destructive interference within the structure of the cell. The light transmission to the CdTe absorber of a CdS/CdTe cell on a fluorine doped tin oxide transparent conductor has been modelled using the transfer matrix method. The interference effect in the CdS layer and high resistance transparent buffer layers (SnO2 and ZnO) has been investigated. The modelling shows that due to relatively high absorption within the SnO2 layer, there are modest benefits to engineering anti-reflection interference in the stack. However, a ZnO buffer layer has limited absorption and interference can be exploited to provide useful anti-reflection effects. Additionally the light transmission to the perovskite absorber of a thin film solar cell using fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) transparent conductor has been modelled. Alternative transparent conductor materials have also been investigated including aluminium doped zinc oxide (AZO) and indium tin oxide (ITO) and shown to be beneficial to transmission.
Nanoparticle Encapsulation and Aggregation Control in Anti-reflection Coatings and Organic PhotovoltaicsMetzman, Jonathan Seth 29 October 2018 (has links)
Nanoparticles present a myriad of physical, optical, electrical, and chemical properties that provide valuable functionality to thin-film technologies. In order to successfully exploit these aspects of nanoparticles, appropriate dispersion and stability measures must be implemented. In this dissertation, different types of nanoparticles are coated with polymer and metallic layers to enable their effectiveness in both anti-reflection coatings (ARCs) and organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Ionic self-assembled multilayers (ISAMs) fabrication of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) results in highly-transparent, porous ARCs. However, the ionic bonding and low contact area between the film constituents lack sufficient mechanical and chemical stability necessary for commercial application. Chemical stability was established in the film by the encapsulation of SiO2 NPs by a photo-crosslinkable polyelectrolyte, diazo-resin (DAR) to make modified silica nanoparticles (MSNPs). UV-irradiation induced decomposition of the diazonium group and the development of covalent bonds with polyanions. Crosslinked MSNP/poly(styrene sulfonate) (PSS) ISAMs exhibited excellent anti-reflectivity (transmittance >98%, reflectance <0.2% in the visible range) and chemical stability against dissolution in a ternary solvent. Mechanical stability was also achieved by the incorporation of two additional PAH and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) layers to create PAH/PAA/PAH/SiO2 NP interlayer ISAM ARCs. Thermal crosslinking of PAH and PAA facilitates the formation of covalent amide bonds between the two polyelectrolytes, as confirmed by FTIR. Since PAH and PAA are both weak polyelectrolytes, adjustment of the solution pH causes significant variations in the polymer chain charge densities. At low PAA pH, the decreased chain charge densities caused large SiO2 NP encapsulation thicknesses in the film with great mechanical stability, but poor anti-reflection (≤97% transmittance). At high PAA pH, the high chain charge densities induced thin encapsulation layers, insufficient mechanical stability, but excellent anti-reflection. At trade-off between the two extremes was founded at a PAA pH of 5.2 with excellent anti-reflection (less than 99% transmittance) and sufficient mechanical stability. The normal force required for scratch initiation was increased by a factor of seven for films made from a pH of 5.2 compared to those made from a pH of 6.0. Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are an attractive area of solar cell research due to their inexpensive nature, ease of large-scale fabrication, flexibility, and low-weight. The introduction of the bulk heterojunction greatly improved charge transport and OPV performance by the blending of the active layer electron donor and acceptor materials, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), into an interpenetrating network with high interfacial area between adjacent nanodomains. However, constrained active layer thicknesses restrict the total optical absorption and device performance. The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of plasmonic nanoparticles, such as anisotropic silver nanoplates (AgNPs), provides large local field enhancements and in coupling with the active layer, substantial optical absorption improvements can be realized. AgNPs were first integrated into the hole-transport layer (PEDOT:PSS) by ISAM deposition. Here, PEDOT:PSS was used as a negatively-charged ISAM layer. Encapsulation of the AgNPs by PAH (ENPs) provided a positive surface charge and allowed for the creation of ENP/PEDOT:PSS ISAMs. Stability against acidic etching by PEDOT:PSS was imparted to the AgNPs by coating the edges with gold (AuAgNPs). The AuAgNP ISAMs substantially improved the optical absorption, but were ineffective at increasing the device performance. The dispersion effects of functionalized polymer coatings on AgNPs were also deeply investigated. Functionalized AgNPs were dispersed in methanol and spin-coated onto the active layer. When the AgNPs possessed hydrophilic properties, such as unfunctionalized or functionalized by poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether thiol (PEG-SH), they formed large aggregates due to unfavorable interactions with the hydrophobic P3HT:PCBM layer. However, the hydrophobic functionalization of AgNPs with thiol-terminated polystyrene (PS-SH) (PS-AgNPs) resulted in excellent dispersion, optical absorption enhancements, and device performance improvements. At a PS-AgNP concentration of 0.57 nM, the device efficiency was increased by 32% over the reference devices. / Ph. D. / Investigations are presented on the quality of distribution or dispersion of functional inorganic (composed of silicon dioxide or silver) particles that have dimensions of less than 100 nanometers, called nanoparticles. The nanoparticle surfaces were covered with polymer layers, where polymers are organic materials with repeating molecular structures. The study of these nanoparticle distribution effects were first examined in anti-reflection coatings (ARCs). ARCs induce transparency of windows or glasses through a reduction in the reflection of light. Here, the ARCs were fabricated as self-assembled thin-films (films with thicknesses ranging from 1 to 2000 nanometers). The self-assembly process here was carried out by immersing a charged substrate (microscope slide) into a solution with an oppositely-charged material. The attraction of the material to the substrate leads to thin-film growth. The process can continue by sequentially immersing the thin-film into oppositely-charged solutions for a desired number of thin-film layers. This technique is called ionic self-assembled multilayers (ISAMs). ARCs created by ISAM with charged polymers (polyelectrolytes) and silicon dioxide nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) can lead to highly-transparent films, but unfortunately, they lack the stability and scratch-resistance necessary for commercial applications. In this dissertation, we address the lack of stability in the ISAM ARCs by adding additional polyelectrolyte layers that can develop strong, covalent bonds, while also examining nanoparticle dispersive properties. First, SiO2 NP surfaces were coated in solution with a polyelectrolyte called diazo-resin, which can form covalent bonds by UV-light exposure of the film. After tuning the concentration for the added diazo-resin, the coated SiO2 NPs were used to make ARCs ISAM films. The ARCs had excellent nanoparticle dispersion, high levels of transparency, and chemical stability. Chemically stability entails that the integrity of the film was unaffected by exposure to polar organic solvents or strong polyelectrolytes. In a second method, two additional v polyelectrolyte layers were added into the original polyelectrolyte/SiO2 NP design. Here, heating of the film to 200 oC temperatures induced strong covalent bonding between the polyelectrolytes. Variation of the solution pH dramatically changed the polyelectrolyte thickness, the nanoparticle dispersion, the scratch-resistance, and the anti-reflection. An optimum trade-off was discovered at a pH of 5.2, where the anti-reflection was excellent (amount of transmitted light over 99%), along with a substantially improved scratch-resistance. A change of pH from 6.0 (highest tested pH) to 5.2 (optimal) caused a difference in the scratch-resistance by a factor of seven. In these findings, we introduce stability enhancing properties from films composed purely of polyelectrolytes into nanoparticle-containing ISAM films. We also show that a simple adjustment of solution parameters, such as the pH value, can cause substantial differences in the film properties. Nanoparticle dispersion properties were next investigated in organic photovoltaics (OPVs) OPVs use semiconducting polymers to convert sunlight into usable electricity. They have many advantages over traditional solar cells, including their simple processing, low-cost, flexibility, and lightweight. However, OPVs are limited by their total optical absorption or the amount of light that can potentially be converted to electricity. The addition of plasmonic nanoparticles into an OPV device is a suitable way to increase optical absorption without changing the other device properties. Plasmonic nanoparticles, which are composed of noble metals (such as silver or gold), act as “light antennas” that concentrate incoming light and radiate it around the particle. In this dissertation, we investigate the dispersion and stability effects of polymer or metallic layers on silver nanoplates (AgNPs). The stability of the AgNPs was found to be greatly enhanced by coating the nanoparticle edges with a thin gold layer (AuAgNPs). AuAgNPs could then be introduced into a conductive, acidic layer of the OPVs (PEDOT:PSS) to increase the overall light absorption, which otherwise would be impossible with uncoated AgNPs. Next, the AgNPs were distributed on top of the photoactive layer or the layer that is responsible for absorbing light. Coating the AgNPs with a polystyrene polymer layer (PS-AgNPs) allowed for excellent dispersion on this layer and contrastingly, dispersion of the uncoated AgNPs was poor. An increased amount PS-AgNPs added on top of the photoactive layer progressively increased the optical absorption of the OPV devices. However, trends were quite different for the power conversion efficiency or the ratio of electricity power to sunlight power in the OPV device. The greatest PCE enhancements (27 – 32%) were found at a relatively low coverage level (using a solution concentration of 0.29 to 0.57 nM) of the PS-AgNPs on the photoactive layer.
01 October 2014
<p>Renewable energy technologies and the development of cleaner and more environmentally friendly power have been at the forefront of research for the past few decades. Photovoltaic systems – systems that convert photon energy to electrical energy – are at the center of these research efforts. Decreasing the cost of energy production, through increasing the power conversion efficiency or decreasing the device cost, is a key factor in widespread use of these energy production systems. To increase the energy conversion efficiency, ideally, all useful photons should be absorbed by the solar cell; however, due to the large discontinuity in the refractive index at the solar cell/air interface, a large fraction of incidence light is lost due to reflection (30% loss in crystalline silicon cells). The currently used single and double layer anti-reflection coatings reduce the reflection losses, but their optimal performance is limited to a narrow range of wavelengths and angles of incidence. Moth-eye anti-reflection coatings are composed of patterned single layer films having a gradual decrease in refractive index from the solar cell surface to air. This study is focused on developing an inexpensive method for direct deposition of patterned films – in the form of moth-eye anti-reflection coatings – on solar cell surface.</p> <p>In this research, the creation of moth-eye anti-reflection coatings has been attempted through the process of electrodeposition. ZnO was chosen for the thin film material, and the ability to develop the required moth-eye structure by changing the electrodeposition parameters including temperature, applied potential, type and concentration of solution-borne species, and type of substrate was investigated. Using this method, pyramidal and hemispherical structures with a 100-200 nm diameter and 100-200 nm height were created directly on ITO substrates. Similar structures were also developed on silicon substrates. The anti-reflection properties of ZnO-coated silicon substrates were investigated by comparing their broadband and broad angle reflection-mode UV-VIS spectrum with uncoated silicon. The optimized ZnO-coated silicon substrate showed a reflectance of at most 20% for wavelengths between 400-1500 nm at angles of incidence less than 50<sup>O</sup>.</p> / Master of Applied Science (MASc)
Davidson, Lauren Michel
01 May 2017
The fabrication of low cost, high efficiency solar cells is imperative in competing with existing energy technologies. Many research groups have explored using III-V materials and thin-film technologies to create high efficiency cells; however, the materials and manufacturing processes are very costly as compared to monocrystalline silicon (Si) solar cells. Since commercial Si solar cells typically have efficiencies in the range of 17-19%, techniques such as surface texturing, depositing a surface-passivating film, and creating multi-junction Si cells are used to improve the efficiency without significantly increasing the manufacturing costs. This research focused on two of these techniques: (1) a tandem junction solar cell comprised of a thin-film perovskite top cell and a wafer-based Si bottom cell, and (2) Si solar cells with single- and double-layer silicon nitride (SiNx) anti-reflection coatings (ARC). The perovskite/Si tandem junction cell was modeled using a Matlab analytical program. The model took in material properties such as doping concentrations, diffusion coefficients, and band gap energy and calculated the photocurrents, voltages, and efficiencies of the cells individually and in the tandem configuration. A planar Si bottom cell, a cell with a SiNx coating, or a nanostructured black silicon (bSi) cell can be modeled in either an n-terminal or series-connected configuration with the perovskite top cell. By optimizing the bottom and top cell parameters, a tandem cell with an efficiency of 31.78% was reached. Next, planar Si solar cells were fabricated, and the effects of single- and double-layer SiNx films deposited on the cells were explored. Silicon nitride was sputtered onto planar Si samples, and the refractive index and thicknesses of the films were measured using ellipsometry. A range of refractive indices can be reached by adjusting the gas flow rate ratios of nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) in the system. The refractive index and thickness of the film affect where the minimum of the reflection curve is located. For Si, the optimum refractive index of a single-layer passivation film is 1.85 with a thickness of 80nm so that the minimum reflection is at 600nm, which is where the photon flux is maximized. However, using a double-layer film of SiNx, the Si solar cell performance is further improved due to surface passivation and lowered surface reflectivity. A bottom layer film with a higher refractive index passivates the Si cell and reduces surface reflectivity, while the top layer film with a smaller refractive index further reduces the surface reflectivity. The refractive indices and thicknesses of the double-layer films were varied, and current-voltage (IV) and external quantum efficiency (EQE) measurements were taken. The double-layer films resulted in an absolute value increase in efficiency of up to 1.8%.
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