It appears rather paradoxical that thin-film photovoltaics (PVs) are made of materials that seem unacceptable from the classical PV perspective, and yet they often outperform classical PV. This exciting new volume solves that paradox by switching to a new physics paradigm.
Many concepts here fall beyond the classical PV scope. The differences lie in device thinness (microns instead of millimeters) and morphology (non-crystalline instead of crystalline). In such structures, the charge carriers can reach electrodes without recombination. On the other hand, thin disordered structures render a possibility of detrimental lateral nonuniformities (“recombination highways”), and their energy spectra give rise to new recombination modes. The mechanisms of thermal exchange and device degradation are correspondingly unique.
The overall objective of this book is to give a self-contained in-depth discussion of the physics of thin-film systems in a manner accessible to both researchers and students. It covers most aspects of the physics of thin-film PV, including device operations, material structure and parameters, thin-film junction formation, analytical and numerical modeling, concepts of large area effects and lateral non-uniformities, physics of shunting (both shunt growth and effects), and device degradation. Also, it reviews a variety of physical diagnostic techniques proven with thin-film PV. Whether for the veteran engineer or the student, this is a must-have for any library.