Solar Energy, Vol.196, 327-335, 2020
An efficient ITO-free transparent electrode based on diamond-like carbon with an engineered intermediate metallic thin-film
In this paper, a novel Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC)-based structure is proposed as an alternative material for transparent electrode applications. In this context, DLC/Ag/DLC multilayer structure was successfully fabricated by combining pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and RF magnetron sputtering techniques. DLC films were deposited at room temperature via PLD on a quartz substrate and their optical constants were extracted using ellipsometry technique. A new hybrid approach based on FDTD method supported by particle swarm optimization (PSO) technique was introduced to find out the best geometry and appropriate intermediate ultrathin metal film of the DLC/Metal/DLC multilayer structure, promoting wider opportunities to overcome the transparency-conductivity trade-off. The optimized design is then prepared by successively depositing DLC films and sputtering ultra-thin Ag layer. Characterizations showcased that the elaborated DLC/Ag/DLC tri-layered structure offers a high Haacke FoM of 55.2 x 10(-3) Omega(-1), emphasizing the ability of the presented systematic investigation for providing promising pathways to reach enhanced light management and reduced resistive losses. Therefore, the elaborated DLC/Ag/DLC multilayer structure opens up new perspectives towards realizing high-performance transparent electrodes based on free-critical raw materials (CRM), which are strongly desirable for optoelectronics and low cost thin film photovoltaic applications.