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Title: On the use of a charged tunnel layer as a hole collector to improve the efficiency of amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells

A new concept, using a negatively charged tunnel layer as a hole collector, is proposed and theoretically investigated for application in amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells. The concept features a glass/transparent conductive oxide/ultra-thin negatively charged tunnel layer/intrinsic a-Si:H/n-doped a-Si:H/metal structure. The key feature of this so called t{sup +}-i-n structure is the introduction of a negatively charged tunnel layer (attracting holes from the intrinsic absorber layer), which substitutes the highly recombination active p-doped a-Si:H layer in a conventional p-i-n configuration. Atomic layer deposited aluminum oxide (ALD AlO{sub x}) is suggested as a potential candidate for such a tunnel layer. Using typical ALD AlO{sub x} parameters, a 27% relative efficiency increase (i.e., from 9.7% to 12.3%) is predicted theoretically for a single-junction a-Si:H solar cell on a textured superstrate. This prediction is based on parameters that reproduce the experimentally obtained external quantum efficiency and current-voltage characteristics of a conventional processed p-i-n a-Si:H solar cell, reaching 9.7% efficiency and serving as a reference. Subsequently, the p-doped a-Si:H layer is replaced by the tunnel layer (studied by means of numerical device simulation). Using a t{sup +}-i-n configuration instead of a conventional p-i-n configuration will not only increase the short-circuit current density (from 14.4more » to 14.9 mA/cm{sup 2}, according to our simulations), it also enhances the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor (from 917 mV to 1.0 V and from 74% to 83%, respectively). For this concept to work efficiently, a high work function front electrode material or a high interface charge is needed.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;
  1. Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117574 (Singapore)
  2. (Singapore)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490744
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 24; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ALUMINIUM OXIDES; CURRENT DENSITY; DEPOSITION; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTRIC CONTACTS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRICAL FAULTS; ELECTRODES; FILL FACTORS; HOLES; LAYERS; METALS; QUANTUM EFFICIENCY; SILICON; SIMULATION; SOLAR CELLS; THIN FILMS; WORK FUNCTIONS