Yu Zhang is working black silicon (BSi) solar cells. Her research will mainly focus on studying working principles of BSi solar cells as well as identifying the major mechanisms that limiting the BSi cell efficiency. Also, she will work on improving the current commercial BSi cell’s efficiency and incorporate advanced laboratory techniques with current common industrial facilities.

Fabrication of nanostructured silicon, regardless of chemical or physical methods, will inevitably introduce a drastic increase of surface defects. Hence a sophisticated passivation layer is desirable to enhance the overall energy transfer efficiency. Compared with conventionally alkaline or acidic textured surface, it is also problematic to form good metal contacts on BSi surface, since the deep feature structures and needle-like structures will hinder the bridging of the gap. Therefore, Yu will focus on enhancing the advanced BSi solar cell efficiency by providing both passivation and metal contacts solutions.