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Electrodeposition of Crystalline and Photoactive Silicon Directly from Silicon Dioxide Nanoparticles in Molten CaCl2

Authors

  • Dr. Sung Ki Cho,

    1. Center for Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (USA)
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  • Dr. Fu-Ren F. Fan,

    1. Center for Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (USA)
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  • Prof. Allen J. Bard

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (USA)
    • Center for Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (USA)
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  • We appreciate financial support of this project from the Dow Corning Corporation, the Robert A. Welch Foundation (grant numbers F-0032 and H-F-0037) and the Center for Electrochemistry. We are grateful for the assistance of Dr. Rob Morgan and Dr. Dimi Katsoulis at Dow Corning in the ICP-MS analysis.

Abstract

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Silicon for solar cells: Relatively pure, polycrystalline, and photoactive silicon was directly obtained from silicon dioxide nanoparticles (NP) by electrodeposition in molten CaCl2 salt on a silver electrode (see picture). This process is based on the formation of liquid droplets of a silver–silicon eutectic alloy and the continuous reduction of SiO2 to silicon. The deposited silicon shows a p-type behavior in photoelectrochemical measurements.

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