Development of irradiation resistant silicon materials and integration in photovoltaïcs cells for space applications

  • Solar energy for energy transition,
  • Département des Technologies Solaires (LITEN)
  • Laboratoire des Procédés pour Cellules Alternatives
  • 01-11-2022
  • Grenoble
  • PsD-DRT-22-0201
  • MARTEL Benoit (

Historically, photovoltaic (PV) energy was developed together with the rise of space exploration. In the 90’s, multijunction solar cells based on III-V materials progressively replaced silicon (Si) cells, taking advantage of higher efficiency levels and electrons/protons irradiation resistance. Nowadays, the space environment is again looking at Si based PV applications: request of higher PV power, moderated space mission lengths, cost reduction issues (€/W Si ~ III-V/500), higher efficiencies p-type Si PV cells… Solar cells are exposed to cosmic irradiation in space, especially to electrons and protons fluxes. The latter’s affect the cells performances, essentially because of bulk defect formations and charge carrier recombination. In order to use Si based solar cells in space, we need to increase their irradiation resistance, which is the main goal of this post-doc position. To do so, the work will first consist in elaborating new Si materials, with increased irradiation resistance. Compositional aspects of the Si will be modified, particularly by introducing elements limiting the formation of bulk defects under irradiations, developing electrical passivation properties. The electronic properties of the materials will be deeply characterized before and after controlled irradiation. Then, this Si material will be used to fabricate heterojunction solar cells. Their performances will be evaluated again before and after irradiation. Such experimental work could be supported by numerical simulation at the device scale.

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