Device Physics of Heteroepitaxial Film c-Si Heterojunction Solar Cells

Sachit Grover, Charles W. Teplin, Jian V. Li, David C. Bobela, Jon Bornstein, Paul Schroeter, Steve Johnston, Harvey Guthrey, Paul Stradins, Howard M. Branz, David L. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


We characterize heterojunction solar cells made from single-crystal silicon films grown heteroepitaxially using hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD). Heteroepitaxy-induced dislocations limit the cell performance, providing a unique platform to study the device physics of thin crystal Si heterojunction solar cells. Hydrogen passivation of these dislocations enables an open-circuit voltage VOC close to 580 mV. However, dislocations are partially active, even after passivation. Using standard characterization methods, we compare the performance of heteroepitaxial absorbers with homoepitaxial absorbers that are free of dislocations. Heteroepitaxial cells have a smaller diffusion length and a larger ideality factor, indicating stronger recombination, which leads to inefficient current collection and a lower V OC than homoepitaxial cells. Modeling indicates that the recombination in the inversion layer of heterojunction cells made from defective absorbers is comparable with the overall recombination in the bulk. Temperature-dependent VOC measurements point to significant recombination at the interface that is attributable to the presence of dislocations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6352824
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-54107


  • Charge recombination
  • diode ideality factor
  • heteroepitaxial silicon
  • open-circuit voltage
  • photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • quantum efficiency (QE)


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