Project Name: Investigation of Ga2O3 as a New Transparent Conductive Oxide for Photovoltaics Applications
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Columbus, OH
SETO Award Amount: $200,000
Awardee Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Tyler Grassman

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Transparent conducting oxides (TCO) increase electronic conduction in solar cells, and are sometimes used to improve efficiencies. Gallium oxide (Ga2O3) is a new TCO material that absorbs light over a wider spectrum than other TCO, demonstrating potential for higher energy output. This project team will investigate Ga2O3 as an alternative solar cell material and the fabrication routes most suitable for manufacturing.

APPROACH

The team will explore different film deposition methods, such as atomic layer deposition, electron beam evaporation, and sputtering, and then evaluate film properties. They will measure film thickness and strength, surface quality, and optical and electronic properties and use the results to refine process design. These results will help researchers identify processing limitations and areas for further understanding and development to improve Ga2O3 performance efficiencies.

INNOVATION

Ga2O3 could be a cost-effective material used to enable scalable PV manufacture and deployment. This project will compare and assess Ga2O3 solar cell characteristics, show how its properties affect performance, and use these results to drive progress toward finding cheaper, better-performing materials for solar cells.