Giving to CREOL CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics

Seminar: "Contact Passivation for Silicon Photovoltaics: Limiting Carrier Recombination with Metal Oxide Heterostructures" by Kristopher Davis

Friday, January 12, 2018 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
CREOL Room 103

Kristopher O. Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
University of Central Florida


In recent years, photovoltaic (PV) systems have emerged as a cost-competitive alternative to traditional energy sources like coal and nuclear power. PV represented 20% of new global electricity installations in 2015 and is now a ยป$100 billion per year industry. Within the PV sector, crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV cells and modules dominate the market with over 90% market share. c-Si PV is a platform for innovation with a stream of new materials (e.g., passivation layers, optical coatings, contact materials), novel manufacturing processes, and powerful characterization techniques currently being explored by industry and academia.

Contact passivation is an area where new materials have the potential to drastically improve device performance. Metal-silicon interfaces have a high concentration of interface states leading to significant carrier recombination at any silicon surface touching the metal contacts. Contacts can be made smaller to reduce recombination, but this results in an increase in series resistance. In this presentation, metal oxide heterostructures and thin passivating interlayers are used to limit carrier recombination due to metal contacts without compromising the series resistance. The amorphous metal oxides used in this work can act as electron-selective (e.g., titanium oxide) or hole-selective (e.g., molybdenum oxide) contacts, depending on their work function and bandgap. Investigations into the process-structure-property relationships of these films has provided insight that is now being used to improve the performance and stability of these materials. This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, under Award Number DE-EE0007533.


Dr. Kristopher O. Davis is an Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and a member of the Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES) cluster at UCF. His research is focused the development of new materials, manufacturing processes, and characterization techniques to improve PV technologies and speed up the adoption of PV as an energy source. This work is currently supported through multiple awards from the U.S. Department of Energy and from industry.

Previously, Dr. Davis was a Research Engineer at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and the c-Si Metrology Program Manager for the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), a DOE funded initiative in collaboration with SEMATECH. As a Program Manager in the PVMC, Dr. Davis worked with a number of companies across the U.S. PV supply chain to better understand the challenges facing the manufacturing sector and develop metrology solutions to these problems through collaborative R&D projects.

Dr. Davis received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Optics, and Ph.D. in Optics, all from UCF. He is a peer reviewer for notable journals (e.g., Nature Scientific Reports, Journal of Materials Research, Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells) and for national laboratories. Since 2012, he has co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed journal publications.

For additional information:

David Hagan

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