Although three-dimensional nanostructured solar cells have attracted extensive research attention due to their superior broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting properties, majority of them are still suffered from complicated fabrication processes as well as disappointed photovoltaic performances. Here, we employed our newly-developed, low-cost and simple wet anisotropic etching to fabricate hierarchical silicon nanostructured arrays with different solar cell contact design, followed by systematic investigations of their photovoltaic characteristics. Specifically, nano-arrays with the tapered tips (e.g. inverted nanopencils) are found to enable the more conformal top electrode deposition directly onto the nanostructures for better series and shunt conductance, but its insufficient film coverage at the basal plane would still restrict the charge carrier collection. In contrast, the low-platform contact design facilitates a substantial photovoltaic device performance enhancement of ~24%, as compared to the one of conventional top electrode design, due to the shortened current path and improved lateral conductance for the minimized carrier recombination and series resistance. This enhanced contact structure can not only maintain excellent photon-trapping behaviors of nanostructures, but also help to eliminate adverse impacts of these tapered nano-morphological features on the contact resistance, providing further insight into design consideration in optimizing the contact geometry for high-performance nanostructured photovoltaic devices.
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