Tuesday, December 22, 2009

US Patent 7635600 - Photovoltaics with nanowire array electrode


One of the well-recognized advantages of nanostructures is the high surface area to volume ratio which can increase efficiencies by providing larger contact areas. This invention from Sharp applies this advantage toward the construction of pn junction thin film solar cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a photovoltaic (PV) structure with a conductive nanowire array electrode, the method comprising:

forming a bottom electrode with conductive nanowires;

forming a first semiconductor layer of a first dopant type overlying the nanowires;

forming a second semiconductor layer of a second dopant type, opposite of the first dopant type, overlying the first semiconductor layer; and,

forming a top electrode overlying the second semiconductor layer.