Light-induced performance increase of silicon heterojunction solar cells

Eiji Kobayashi, Stefaan De Wolf, Jacques Levrat, Gabriel Christmann, Antoine Descoeudres, Sylvain Nicolay, Matthieu Despeisse, Yoshimi Watabe, Christophe Ballif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Silicon heterojunction solar cells consist of crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafers coated with doped/intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) bilayers for passivating-contact formation. Here, we unambiguously demonstrate that carrier injection either due to light soaking or (dark) forward-voltage bias increases the open circuit voltage and fill factor of finished cells, leading to a conversion efficiency gain of up to 0.3% absolute. This phenomenon contrasts markedly with the light-induced degradation known for thin-film a-Si:H solar cells. We associate our performance gain with an increase in surface passivation, which we find is specific to doped a-Si:H/c-Si structures. Our experiments suggest that this improvement originates from a reduced density of recombination-active interface states. To understand the time dependence of the observed phenomena, a kinetic model is presented.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153503
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 11 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge Jan Haschke, Silvia Martin de Nicolas, Raphaël Monnard, Jean Cattin, Andrea Tomasi, Gizem Nogay, Andrea Ingenito, Philipp Löper, Franz-Josef Haug, Philipp Wyss, Josua Stuckelberger, Jonathan Champliaud, and Christophe Allebé for fruitful discussions. Financial support of Swiss Federal Office of Energy, EU FP7 program (CHETAAH Project, Contract No. 609788), and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is acknowledged.


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