High-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells: status and perspectives

With a global market share of about 90%, crystalline silicon is by far the most important photovoltaic technology today. This article reviews the dynamic field of crystalline silicon photovoltaics from a device-engineering perspective. First, it discusses key factors responsible for the success of the classic dopant-diffused silicon homojunction solar cell. Next it analyzes two archetypal high-efficiency device architectures - the interdigitated back-contact silicon cell and the silicon heterojunction cell - both of which have demonstrated power conversion efficiencies greater than 25%. Last, it gives an up-to-date summary of promising recent pathways for further efficiency improvements and cost reduction employing novel carrier-selective passivating contact schemes, as well as tandem multi-junction architectures, in particular those that combine silicon absorbers with organic-inorganic perovskite materials.


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