Journal article

Strategies for Doped Nanocrystalline Silicon Integration in Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

Carrier collection in silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells is usually achieved by doped amorphous silicon layers of a few nanometers, deposited at opposite sides of the crystalline silicon wafer. These layers are often defect-rich, resulting in modest doping efficiencies, parasitic optical absorption when applied at the front of solar cells, and high contact resistivities with the adjacent transparent electrodes. Their substitution by equally thin doped nanocrystalline silicon layers has often been argued to resolve these drawbacks. However, low-temperature deposition of highly crystalline doped layers of such thickness on amorphous surfaces demands sophisticated deposition engineering. In this paper, we review and discuss different strategies to facilitate the nucleation of nanocrystalline silicon layers and assess their compatibility with SHJ solar cell fabrication. We also implement the obtained layers into devices, yielding solar cells with fill factor values of over 79% and efficiencies of over 21.1%, clearly underlining the promise this material holds for SHJ solar cell applications.


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