Analysis of Solar Cell Quality Using Voltage Metrics

Eric S. Toberer, Adele C. Tamboli, Myles Steiner, Sarah Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


The highest efficiency solar cells provide both excellent voltage and current. Of these, the open-circuit voltage (Voc) is more frequently viewed as an indicator of the material quality. However, since the V oc also depends on the band gap of the material, the difference between the band gap and the Voc is a better metric for comparing material quality of unlike materials. To take this one step further, since Voc also depends on the shape of the absorption edge, we propose to use the ultimate metric: the difference between the measured Voc and the Voc calculated from the external quantum efficiency using a detailed balance approach. This metric is less sensitive to changes in cell design and definition of band gap. The paper defines how to implement this metric and demonstrates how it can be useful in tracking improvements in V oc, especially as Voc approaches its theoretical maximum.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012


Conference38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5200-54120 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-57534


  • detailed balance
  • performance
  • photovoltaic cells
  • recombination
  • voltage metric


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