Challenges in amorphous silicon solar cell technology

R.A.C.M.M. Swaaij, van, M. Zeman, B.A. Korevaar, C. Smit, J.W. Metselaar, M.C.M. Sanden, van de

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Abstract

Hydrogenated amorphous silicon is nowadays extensively used for a range of devices, amongst others solar cells, Solar cell technology has matured over the last two decades and resulted in conversion efficiencies in excess of 15%. In this paper the operation of amorphous silicon solar cells is briefly described. For tandem solar cell, amorphous silicon germanium is often used as material for the intrinsic layer of the bottom cell. This improves the red response of the cell. In order to optimize the performance of amorphous silicon germanium solar cells, profiling of the germanium concentration near the interfaces is applied. We show in this paper that the performance is strongly dependent on the width of the grading near the interfaces. The best performance is achieved when using a grading width that is as small as possible near the p-i interface and as wide as possible near the i-n interface. High-rate deposition of amorphous silicon is nowadays one of the main issues. Using the Expanding Thermal Plasma deposition method very high deposition rates can be achieved. This method has been applied for the fabrication of an amorphous silicon solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 5.8%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-570
JournalActa Physica Slovaca
Volume50
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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