In this course, students will gain both a fundamental and practical understanding of the design and operation of solar cells. The course will enable the student to extend their knowledge of semiconductor device and provide a sound basis for a deep understanding of current solar cell technologies. Key practical processes such as solid state diffusion, gettering and device contacting are introduced. A range of laboratory-based and commercial solar cell technologies are reviewed together with recent technological advances in the field. The course makes use of simulation tools to reinforce an understanding of device physics and the different solar cell technologies. The simulation tools are also used to design and optimize advanced solar cells concepts. The course introduces a suite of relevant characterisation techniques that are used to understand the characteristics of solar cells including spectral response, temperature sensitivity, resistive losses, current generation and open-circuit voltages.
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