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Swedish Cubic SiC Attracts Norwegian Solar Cell Research

While cost may not be the advantage, its innovative character may lead to new insights of using silicon carbide as an optoelectronic material

Cubic SiC may host a new approach for a highly efficient solar cell material.

Theory has shown that cubic SiC may act as a highly efficient solar cell material if doped with boron. This has not been explored since this semiconductor material is challenging to produce.

Only recently it was demonstrated that high quality may be obtained by a novel growth method.

The photovoltaic properties interests the Norwegian research organisation SINTEF which has landed a €0.9 million research grant in the Energy X programme that targets innovative energy concepts. The programme runs under the Norwegian Research Council that selected four projects having breakthrough character among 49 applications.

State of the art quality of the cubic SiC was shown by the Swedish researchers at Linköping University last year using a method that they have developed.

There are great challenges in keeping the stability of this material, and maintain quality while introducing dopants, says Mikael Syväjärvi that initiated the collaboration with the Norwegian organisation.

In Norway there is a lot of experience in solar cell technology, which matches our materials expertise, he adds about the partnership which includes the University of Oslo and Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials AS.

During the last three years, his research team has explored doped SiC for a white LED that has a pure white light and no need for rare earth metal, while at the same time being less influenced by the droop effect.

The platform of using doped SiC for optoelectronics is a fascinating ground for new research and innovation, Mikael Syväjärvi explains his driving force to explore the materials growth.

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