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Multiscale approaches to high efficiency photovoltaics

Abstract : While renewable energies are achieving parity around the globe, efforts to reach higher solar cell efficiencies becomes ever more difficult as they approach the limiting efficiency. The so-called third generation concepts attempt to break this limit through a combination of novel physical processes and new materials and concepts in organic and inorganic systems. Some examples of semi-empirical modelling in the field are reviewed, in particular for multispectral solar cells on silicon (French ANR project MultiSolSi). Their achievements are outlined, and the limits of these approaches shown. This introduces the main topic of this contribution, which is the use of multiscale experimental and theoretical techniques to go beyond the semi-empirical understanding of these systems. This approach has already led to great advances at modelling which have led to modelling software, which is widely known. Yet, a survey of the topic reveals a fragmentation of efforts across disciplines, firstly, such as organic and inorganic fields, but also between the high efficiency concepts such as hot carrier cells and intermediate band concepts. We show how this obstacle to the resolution of practical research obstacles may be lifted by inter-disciplinary cooperation across length scales, and across experimental and theoretical fields, and finally across materials systems. We present a European COST Action "MultiscaleSolar" kicking off in early 2015, which brings together experimental and theoretical partners in order to develop multiscale research in organic and inorganic materials. The goal of this defragmentation and interdisciplinary collaboration is to develop understanding across length scales, which will enable the full potential of third generation concepts to be evaluated in practise, for societal and industrial applications.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 1:18:52 PM
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James Patrick Connolly, Lejo Koduvelikulathu, D. Mencaraglia, Julio Rimada, Ahmed Nejim, et al.. Multiscale approaches to high efficiency photovoltaics. Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability, EDP Sciences, 2016, 1 (3), pp.6. ⟨10.1051/rees/2016006⟩. ⟨hal-02635112⟩

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