Photoelectrochemical deposition of silicon from ionic liquids

The proposed field addresses the photo-electrochemical deposition of silicon and formation of porous structures in ionic liquids. The electrochemical methods offer advancement in environmentally friendly, carbon-free and secure technologies of silicon treatment. Electrodeposition of thin Si layers could replace traditional multiple processes of Si wafer fabrication, which include highly energy consuming steps with significant carbon footprint: carbo-thermic production of metal-grade silicon, upgrading to solar grade, ingot casting, and slicing. Opportunities provide ionic liquids (ILs) whose advantages include wide electrochemical window, high health and safety standards, non-flammability, non-toxicity and biodegradability. However, low electric conductivity of Si at room temperatures limits the electrodeposition process. We propose light-catalyzed electro-deposition of silicon from ILs. Si conductivity will also be increased by Si co-deposition with n-p dopants as well as alloying additives. The expected results are of great importance in numerous fields of application: formation of photoactive layers for PV devices, antireflection coatings, energy storage applications (batteries and super-capacitors), electrodes for photo-electrochemical hydrogen generation by water splitting and platforms for (bio)chemical sensors.
For more information, please contact the theme supervisor E. Juzeliūnas