Virtual Access Portal
PV Modelling software

Modelling and design of solar cells using TCAD Silvaco software, with its different modules.

The ability to accurately simulate a solar cell prior to its fabrication is a key factor to drastically reduce experimentation time. In this way, fabrication efforts are only dedicated to potentially well-performing devices. The other way around, it allows the user to define their own materials, doping and designs for the solar cell according to the data extracted from the experimental results. This procedure boosts the understanding of the physical mechanisms influencing in the final result.

  • Athena (Suprem4) for individual process simulation
  • Atlas device simulator with it tools: S-Pisces: for Si based technologies, Blaze2D and Blaze3D for advanced materials, Luminous and Luminous3D to model light absorption and photogeneration in non-planar semiconductor devices, LED for light emitting diodes, TFT and TFT3D for amorphous or polysilicon devices and OLED and OTFT for organic devices.

The extraction of the electrical characteristics, photogeneration mapping, and spectral response of the solar cell based on its physical structur is also possible. Models can not only simulate simple solar cells but also more advanced solar cell designs including doping gradients, optical properties, recombination and contact grid shading. In addition, it is possible to study the details of photo generation of carriers in multi-junction solar cells of different technologies (Si, CIGS, Perovskites, Kesterites, other) by modelling the behaviour of different structures to match the cells involved in the junction. Therefore, heterojunction structures in the shape of tandem of different technologies can be simulated.

Furthermore, complex light spectra and different irradiation levels can be modelled in order to replicate indoor or outdoor conditions for PV devices that are installed in specific locations. Optical modelling of light management in tandem configurations, addressing the directional and spectral composition of solar radiation can be performed using Luminous 2D and Luminous 3D modules of Silvaco TCAD. Those modules are designed to model light management, absorption and photogeneration, in planar and non-planar; i. e. with periodical or random structures, solar cells using methods like ray tracing, transfer matrix, beam propagation and finite difference time domain. The result takes into account internal and external reflection, refraction and dispersion as well as different light incident angles. That information allows optimizing the matching between the absorption spectra of two cells involved in a tandem. Last, apart from 2D PV devices, we can perform 3D models. This is crucial to simulate electrical and optical performance of realistic PV solar devices.

Modality of access under this proposal:

  • Details on access: Online
  • Number of days spent typically for an experiment: 5 days
  • Unit of access (how many user visits are expected): 9 user visits; preparatory work will be done based on a form to be filled with the description of project and telco.
  • Scheduling will be done to avoid conflicts with CENER needs.
  • During the number of days for the experiment: the system to be used will be fully dedicated to user.

Support offered under this proposal:

Quality of scientific environment and user access: Technicians and researchers dedicated to R&D who could assist users on the definition of the simulations.

National Renewable Energy Centre (Spain)
National Renewable Energy Centre (Spain)
The National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER) develops applied research in renewable energies, and provides technological support to companies and energy institutions in six areas: wind, solar thermal and photovoltaic solar energy, biomass, smart and efficient buildings and districts, and grid integration of energy. CENER is a technology centre with worldwide recognised prestige, activity and experience.


Eugenia Zugasti
Senior researcher - Solar Cells and Materials area
Contact point and coordinator
Detail & usage Infrastructure
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