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The main research area of Arthur Weeber at Delft University of Technology (TUD) entails developing technologies and solutions that enable large-scale application of photovoltaics (PV) based on silicon. His main research topics in this field are developing functional layers to increase efficiency, and relating the material and interface properties to the functionality of these layers. Simultaneously, the application of these novel layers should also enable to lower the cost of PV, and thus solar electricity. Work is done not only on so-called single junction silicon solar cells, but also on integrating these silicon cells in tandem devices with for example perovskite top cells.
The research carried out at TUD is closely related to the R&D carried out at TNO. TUD and TNO are partners in many joint projects. The R&D of TNO’s crystalline silicon PV cell technology is focused on developing novel highly transparent passivating and carrier selective contacts for next generation heterojunction solar cells.
Arthur Weeber coordinates the PMC Cluster PV Technologies at TNO, which covers cell and module technologies for silicon, thin-film and tandems (both perovskite-silicon tandems as well as all thin-film tandems). Technologies developed in this cluster will enable solutions for large-scale deployment of PV.
Passivating and carrier selective structures based on so-called poly-Si and on nanocrystalline SiOx have been developed for both sides-contacted Si solar cells and for back-contacted Si solar cells. Excellent surface passivation and selectivity for both hole and electron contacts have been achieved. Applying these structures to completed solar cells efficiencies above 22% have been reached in the lab. Furthermore, application of crystalline silicon solar cell as bottom cell in hybrid tandem configurations have been studied and optical losses have been determined.
For novel, highly transparent MoOx based passivating contacts, efficiencies above 18% have been obtained on a large area using an industrially feasible process based on screen-printing metallization. Fundamental aspects of surface passivation and carrier selectivity are ongoing.
In addition to his work on crystalline silicon, Arthur Weeber is also involved in thin-film research. One research topic involves the studying of mechanisms behind the formation of so-called worm-like defects under reverse bias conditions with the aim of mitigating failures on module level for thin-film PV. Mechanisms behind the formation of worm-like defects and parameters reducing defect formation have been proposed.