Graphene and Silicon Work Great Together
Given the impending bottleneck of supply in indium tin oxide, a material currently used as a transparent conducting film, researchers are now focusing their attention on graphene as a cheaper alternative since it has ideal properties for this purpose.
Photo-voltaic manufacturers have taken little interest in using graphene as a replacement of indium tin oxide as a transparent conducting film, even when graphene has the highest potential of filling this looming gap. This lack of interest has been partly due to little research into what happens to graphene’s attractive conductivity when used together with silicon.
This, however, will change now that researchers have found out that graphene does not lose its remarkable properties when used together with silicon.
Researchers had revealed that when graphene is incorporated into a pile of layers, same a thin film solar cell based on silicon, the material does not significantly change its conductive properties as initially feared.
The researchers used a process of chemical vapor deposition to grow the graphene on a copper sheet, transferred it to a substrate made from glass, and then covered it with a thin film made from silicon. The researchers experimented with different morphologies of silicon and found out that graphene maintained its conductive properties in all cases. Graphene still retains its properties, even when coated with silicon with different characteristics.
The conductive properties of graphene, when measured, exceeded most materials. For instance, its carrier mobility is 30 times higher than that of the conventional contact layers based on zinc oxide. Despite the fact that it is difficult to use contact layers made from graphene with external contacts, the prospects have attracted interest all over the world. Already, thin film technology enthusiasts have invested in incorporating this development in their work.