Effect of Dual-Function Nano-Structured Silicon Oxide Thin Film on Multi-Junction Solar Cells

Baojie Yan, Laura Sivec, Guozhen Yue, Chun Sheng Jiang, Jeffrey Yang, Subhendu Guha

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


We present our recent study of using nano-structured hydrogenated silicon oxide films (nc-SiO x:H) as a dual-function layer in multi-junction solar cells. The nc-SiO x:H films were deposited using very high frequency glow discharge of a SiH 4 (or Si 2H 6), CO 2, PH 3, and H 2 gas mixture. By optimizing deposition parameters, we obtained "dual function" nc-SiO x:H material characterized by a conductivity suitable for use as an n layer and optical properties suitable for use as an inter-reflection layer. We tested the nc-SiO x:H by replacing the normal n-type material in the tunnel junction of a multi-junction structure. The advantage of the dual-function nc-SiO x:H layer is twofold; one is to simplify the cell structure, and the other is to reduce any optical loss associated with the inter-reflection layer. Quantum efficiency measurements show the gain in top cell current is equal to or greater than the loss in bottom cell current for a-Si:H/nc-Si:H structures. In addition, a thinner a-Si:H top cell with the nc-SiO x:H n layer improves the top-cell stability, thereby providing higher stabilized solar cell efficiency. We also used the dual-function layer between the middle and the bottom cells in a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H/nc-Si:H triple-junction structures. The gain in the middle cell current is ∼1.0 mA/cm 2, leading to an initial active-area efficiency of 14.8%.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2011
Event37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011


Conference37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-55770


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