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Silicon solar cells and modules for space environments: understanding degradation mechanisms and performance optimization

Technological challenge: Solar energy for energy transition (learn more)

Department: Département des Technologies Solaires (LITEN)

Laboratory: Laboratoire des applications modules

Start Date: 01-10-2022

Location: Grenoble

CEA Code: SL-DRT-22-0693

Contact: romain.cariou@cea.fr

Historically, silicon solar technologies have fueled the development of space activities. From the 1990s solar photovoltaic generators gradually adopted the more performant III-V multi-junction cells. However the current low cost trend in space sector and the considerable progresses made by silicon photovoltaics industry (materials, processes, devices & cost) during the past 20 years calls for a re-assessment of silicon potential for some space missions. The specific space environmental constraints are responsible for cells & array ageing; in particular energetic electrons & protons particle flux impact materials properties through electronic excitation & ballistic events. This PhD work focuses on silicon solar cells and coupons radiation hardness, through the study of degradation mechanisms, defects creation & annealing, and their link to photovoltaics performances.

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