Journal article

Flexible micromorph tandem a-Si/µc-Si solar cells

The deposition of a stack of amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (µc- Si:H) tandem thin film silicon solar cells (micromorph) requires at least twice the time used for a single junction a-Si:H cell. However, micromorph devices have a higher potential efficiency, thanks to the broader absorption spectrum of µc-Si:H material. High efficiencies can only be achieved by mitigating the nanocracks in the µc-Si:H cell and the light-induced degradation of the a- Si:H cell. As a result, µc-Si:H cell has to grow on a smooth substrate with large periodicity (>1 µm) and the a-Si:H cell on sharp pyramids with smaller feature size ( 350 nm) to strongly scatter the light in the weak absorption spectra of a-Si:H material. The asymmetric intermediate reflector introduced in this work uncouples the growth and light scattering issues of the tandem micromorph solar cells. The stabilized efficiency of the tandem n-i-p/n-i-p micromorph is increased by a relative 15% compared to a cell without AIR and 32% in relative compared to an a-Si:H single junction solar cells. The overall process (T<200 °C) is kept compatible with low cost plastic substrates. The best stabilized efficiency of a cell deposited on polyethylene-naphthalate plastic substrate is 9.8% after 1000 h of light soaking at Voc, 1 sun, and 50 °C

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