Amorphous silicon solar cells on nano-imprinted commodity paper without sacrificing efficiency

C.H.M. Werf, van der, T. Budel, M.S. Dorenkamper, D. Zhang, W. Soppe, H. de Neve, R.E.I. Schropp

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Paper is a cheap substrate which is in principle compatible with the process temperature applied in the plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) and hot wire CVD (HWCVD) of thin film silicon solar cells. The main drawback of paper for this application is the porosity due to its fibre like structure. The feature size (micrometre scale) is larger than the thickness of the applied photovoltaic layers. To overcome this problem, UV curable lacquer was used to planarize the surface. Plain 80 grams printer paper was taken as a substrate and the lacquer smoothens the rough surface of the paper such that a designed nanostructure can be imprinted for light scattering. In this manner single junction amorphous silicon solar cells with a HWCVD deposited intrinsic layer were processed on paper, without any concessions to the process temperature of 200 °C. The cell performance is comparable to that of reference cells grown on stainless steel, proving that solar cells can be deposited on paper substrates without sacrificing performance. PV on paper could be applied as ”disposable” power source for gadgets, electronic labelling, remote sensing systems, etc. (Internet of Things).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-626
JournalPhysica Status Solidi : Rapid Research Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • photovoltaics
  • paper
  • hot wire chemical vapour deposition
  • solar cells
  • amorphous materials
  • silicon


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