Carrier-Selective, Passivated Contacts for High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells Based on Transparent Conducting Oxides

David L. Young, William Nemeth, Sachit Grover, Andrew Norman, Benjamin G. Lee, Paul Stradins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

34 Scopus Citations


We describe the design, fabrication and results of passivated contacts to n-type silicon utilizing thin SiO2 and indium tin oxide. High-temperature silicon dioxide is grown on both surfaces on an n-type Si wafer to a thickness <50 Å, followed by deposition of tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) and a patterned metal contacting layer. As deposited, the thin-film stack has a very high recombination parameter, J0,contact, and a non-ohmic, high contact resistance. However, after a forming gas anneal, the passivation quality and the contact resistivity improve significantly. The contacts are characterized by measuring the recombination parameter current density of the contact (J0,contact) and the specific contact resistivity (ρcontact) using a transmission line method (TLM) pattern. The best ITO/SiO2 passivated contact in this study has J0,contact = 93.5 fA/cm2 and ρcontact = 11.5 mOhm-cm2. These values are placed in context with other passivating contacts using an analysis that determines the ultimate efficiency and the optimal area fraction for contacts for a given set of (J0,contact, ρcontact) values. The ITO/SiO2 contacts are found to have a higher J0,contact, but a similar ρcontact compared to the best reported passivated contacts.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2014
Event40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 - Denver, United States
Duration: 8 Jun 201413 Jun 2014


Conference40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-62059


  • ITO
  • passivated contacts
  • silicon
  • SiO
  • solar cells


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