Corrugation Enabled Asymmetrically Ultrastretchable (95%) Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells with High Efficiency (19%)

Nazek El-Atab, Nadeem Qaiser, Rabab Bahabry, Muhammad Mustafa Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Stretchable solar cells are of growing interest due their key role in realizing many applications such as wearables and biomedical devices. Ultrastretchability, high energy-efficiency, biocompatibility, and mechanical resilience are essential characteristics of such energy harvesting devices. Here, the development of wafer-scale monocrystalline silicon solar cells with world-record ultrastretchability (95%) and efficiency (19%) is demonstrated using a laser-patterning based corrugation technique. The demonstrated approach transforms interdigitated back contacts (IBC) based rigid solar cells into mechanically reliable but ultrastretchable cells with negligible degradation in the electric performance in terms of current density, open-circuit voltage, and fill factor. The corrugation method is based on the creation of alternating grooves resulting in silicon islands with different shapes. The stretchability is achieved by orthogonally aligning the active silicon islands to the applied tensile stress and using a biocompatible elastomer (Ecoflex) as a stretchable substrate. The resulting mechanics ensure that the brittle silicon areas do not experience significant mechanical stresses upon asymmetrical stretching. Different patterns are studied including linear, diamond, and triangular patterns, each of which results in a different stretchability and loss of active silicon area. Finally, finite element method based simulation is conducted to study the generated deformation in the different patterned solar cells.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1902883
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number45
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-04-23
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2015-Sensors-2707, OSR-2016-KKI-2880.
Acknowledgements: M.M.H. conceived the idea and directed the project. N.E.-A. designed, fabricated, and characterized the stretchable solar cells and analyzed the results. N.Q. assisted in COMSOL simulations. All authors discussed the results. This publication is based upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. Sensor Innovation Initiative OSR-2015-Sensors-2707 and KAUST-KFUPM Special Initiative OSR-2016-KKI-2880.


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