Back-Contacted Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Optical-Loss Analysis and Mitigation

Bertrand Paviet-Salomon*, Andrea Tomasi, Antoine Descoeudres, Loris Barraud, Sylvain Nicolay, Matthieu Despeisse, Stefaan De Wolf, Christophe Ballif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We analyze the optical losses that occur in interdigitated back-contacted amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. We show that in our devices, the main loss mechanisms are similar to those of two-side contacted heterojunction solar cells. These include reflection and escape-light losses, as well as parasitic absorption in the front passivation layers and rear contact stacks. We then provide practical guidelines to mitigate such reflection and parasitic absorption losses at the front side of our solar cells, aiming at increasing the short-circuit current density in actual devices. Applying these rules, we processed a back-contacted silicon heterojunction solar cell featuring a short-circuit current density of 40.9 mA/cm2 and a conversion efficiency of 22.0%. Finally, we show that further progress will require addressing the optical losses occurring at the rear electrodes of the back-contacted devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7150329
Pages (from-to)1293-1303
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterojunction
  • interdigitated back-contact
  • optical losses
  • parasitic absorption
  • silicon
  • Solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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