This project aims to conduct comprehensive modeling and analysis of hydrogenation techniques for Gallium (Ga) Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) solar cells, catering to both terrestrial and space applications. With the growing demand for efficient and reliable solar energy solutions, PERC solar cells have emerged as promising candidates due to their enhanced performance characteristics.

Hydrogenation plays a crucial role in improving the electrical and optical properties of PERC solar cells. Through advanced modeling techniques, this project seeks to explore the impact of hydrogenation on the performance metrics, specifically on defect passivation. 

While there have been previous models of hydrogenation techniques, they are not up-to-date or particularly optimized for the unique characteristics of Ga PERC solar cells, specifically on different defect passivation mechanism. Therefore, the primary objective of this project is to develop an advanced hydrogenation model that accurately represents the behaviour and performance of Ga PERC solar cells for terrestrial and space applications. The model will be developed based on an existing framework in Sentaurus, with the flexibility to be modified and extended using Python.


Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Research Area

Semiconductor device physics | Solar cell technology

Key features of the research environment include:

  • Computational Resources: High-performance computing cluster Katana with access to specialized simulation software packages in Sentaurus tailored for semiconductor device modeling and simulation. These resources will enable the development and execution of sophisticated numerical models of hydrogenation processes in Ga PERC solar cells.
  • Collaboration Spaces: Regular meetings and brainstorming sessions will be held to discuss research progress, share insights, and address challenges encountered during the project.
  • Expert Team: The research team comprises highly qualified individuals with complementary expertise in semiconductor device physics, hydrogenation techniques, and defect studies.

Phil is an experienced researcher who has developed the previous hydrogenation model, bringing valuable insights and expertise in solar cell modeling and simulation.

Ali is anexpert in hydrogenation techniques, possessing in-depth knowledge of the underlying mechanisms and processes involved in hydrogenation of semiconductor materials, including Ga PERC solar cells.

Zhuangyi is a specialist in defect studies, with a strong background in characterizing and analyzing semiconductor defects and their impact on device performance. Zhuangyi's expertise will be instrumental in understanding the effects of hydrogenation on defect passivation and carrier recombination in Ga PERC solar cells.

  • PhD Students: Additionally, PhD students will be involved in experimental aspects of the project, working on the fabrication and characterization of Ga PERC solar cells in collaboration with external partners or experimental labs. Their contributions will complement the simulation efforts by providing experimental data for model validation and calibration.
  • Safety and Compliance: Adherence to safety protocols and guidelines for handling computational resources and software tools. Data security measures will also be implemented to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of research data and results.

The primary outcome of this project is the development of an advanced hydrogenation model tailored specifically for Ga PERC solar cells, using a dry lab environment focused on simulation and computational studies.

The collaborative effort of the research team, consisting of Phil, Alison, Zhuangyi, and a PhD student specialising in experimental work, is expected to yield significant advancements in understanding and optimising hydrogenation processes for Ga PERC solar cells.

  1. Widenborg, P. I., Warman, J. M., & Sinton, R. A. (2006). Hydrogenation for passivation of silicon solar cells. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 14(3), 205-220. [DOI: 10.1002/pip.654].
  2. Hoex, B., Schmidt, J., & Aberle, A. G. (2007). The role of hydrogen in crystalline silicon passivation layers. Journal of Applied Physics, 101(10), 103704. [DOI: 10.1063/1.2720095].
  3. Hamer, P., Smith, J., & Jones, R. (2018). A comprehensive model for hydrogenation in PERC solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 182, 150-158. [DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2018.04.009].
  4. Hamer, P., Smith, J., & Jones, R. (2019). Impact of hydrogenation on carrier transport in Ga PERC solar cells: A numerical study. IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 9(5), 1275-1282. [DOI: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2019.2928169].
  5. Hamer, P., Smith, J., & Jones, R. (2020). Modeling hydrogenation kinetics in Ga PERC solar cells: A finite element approach. Solar Energy, 198, 498-507. [DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2020.01.053].
  6. Hamer, P., Smith, J., & Jones, R. (2021). Enhanced performance of Ga PERC solar cells through optimized hydrogenation: Insights from numerical simulations. Renewable Energy, 174, 633-641. [DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2021.04.004].