Fabrication and Doping Methods for Silicon Nano- and Micropillar Arrays for Solar-Cell Applications: A Review

Rick Elbersen, Wouter Vijselaar, Roald M. Tiggelaar, Han Gardeniers*, Jurriaan Huskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Silicon is one of the main components of commercial solar cells and is used in many other solar-light-harvesting devices. The overall efficiency of these devices can be increased by the use of structured surfaces that contain nanometer- to micrometer-sized pillars with radial p/n junctions. High densities of such structures greatly enhance the light-absorbing properties of the device, whereas the 3D p/n junction geometry shortens the diffusion length of minority carriers and diminishes recombination. Due to the vast silicon nano- and microfabrication toolbox that exists nowadays, many versatile methods for the preparation of such highly structured samples are available. Furthermore, the formation of p/n junctions on structured surfaces is possible by a variety of doping techniques, in large part transferred from microelectronic circuit technology. The right choice of doping method, to achieve good control of junction depth and doping level, can contribute to an improvement of the overall efficiency that can be obtained in devices for energy applications. A review of the state-of-the-art of the fabrication and doping of silicon micro and nanopillars is presented here, as well as of the analysis of the properties and geometry of thus-formed 3D-structured p/n junctions. Silicon plays a large role in the field of solar cells and solar-to-fuel devices. As a result, there are many different fabrication and doping methods for silicon nano-/micropillars. The available fabrication and doping techniques are summarized, along with an overview of their analysis, both in 2D and 3D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6781-6796
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced materials
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2015


  • Doping
  • P/n junctions
  • Silicon nano- and micropillars
  • Solar cells
  • Solar-to-fuel
  • 2023 OA procedure


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