Toward Better Understanding and Improved Performance of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The double-sided silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cell is more appropriate for n-type crystal silicon (c-Si) wafers than for p-type c-Si wafers because there is a larger band offset to the valence band edge of hydrogenated amorphous silicon than to the conduction band edge. Thin intrinsic and doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a Si:H) double layers by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition(HWCVD) are investigated as passivation layers, emitters, and back-surface-field (BSF) contacts to both p- and n-type wafers. Passivation quality is studied by characterizing the SHJ solar cells and by photoconductive decay (PCD) minority-carrier lifetime measurements. The crystal-amorphous heterointerface is studied with real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry (RTSE) and high-resolutiontransmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to detect phase change and material evolution, with a focus on better understanding the factors determining passivation effectiveness. A common feature in effective passivation, emitter, and BSF layers is immediate a-Si:H deposition and an abrupt and flat interface to the c-Si substrate. In this case, good wafer passivation or an excellent heterojunctionis obtained, with a low interface recombination velocity (S) or a high open-circuit voltage (Voc). Voc greater than 640 mV, S less than 15 cm/sec, and efficiency of 14.8% have been achieved on polished p type Czochralski-grown (CZ) Si wafers. Collaboration between NREL and Georgia Tech resulted in a 15.7%-efficient HWCVD-deposited SHJ cell on non-textured FZ-Si with a screen-printed Al backsurface field (BSF), the highest reported HWCVD SHJ cell. Collaboration between NREL and SunPower demonstrated that HWCVD a-Si:H passivation can be better than the conventional oxides, with a low surface recombination velocity of 42 cm/sec on textured n-type FZ-Si.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2004
Event14th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Materials - Winter Park, Colorado
Duration: 8 Aug 200411 Aug 2004


Conference14th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Materials
CityWinter Park, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-36669


  • crystal growth
  • crystalline silicon (x-Si) (c-Si)
  • defects
  • device process
  • impurities
  • materials and processes
  • microelectronics
  • module
  • passivation
  • photovoltaics (PV)
  • PV
  • solar cells


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