Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) announced Feb 7, 2011, that it has succeeded in making an amorphous silicon (Si) photovoltaic (PV) cell by applying a liquid Si for the first time in the world.

The conversion efficiency of the pin-type cell whose i-layer was made with the coating process was 1.79%, JAIST said. If the efficiency improves in the future, it might become possible to apply the technology to mass-produce Si PV cells by using a roll-to-roll method.

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The amorphous Si PV cell was developed by a research group led by Tatsuya Shimoda, professor at the School of Materials Science of JAIST. The group used a liquid Si whose starting material is cyclopentasilane (CPS: Si5H10, hydrogen atoms are bonded with five membered rings of Si).

Though JAIST did not reveal the details of the liquid Si, it developed a liquid Si by emitting ultraviolet rays at CPS in a carbon hydrogen solvent for polymerizing part of the CPS to make polysilane (polymer molecules made by bonding SiH2 like a chain) during a period from 2006 to 2007. At that time, JAIST and others formed amorphous Si-TFTs by using this liquid Si.

For more on this article: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20110210/189492/

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