Low-Temperature High-Mobility Amorphous IZO for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

Monica Morales-Masis, Silvia Martin De Nicolas, Jakub Holovsky, Stefaan De Wolf, Christophe Ballif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Parasitic absorption in the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) front electrode is one of the limitations of silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells efficiency. To avoid such absorption while retaining high conductivity, TCOs with high electron mobility are preferred over those with high carrier density. Here, we demonstrate improved SHJ solar cell efficiencies by applying high-mobility amorphous indium zinc oxide (a-IZO) as the front TCO. We sputtered a-IZO at low substrate temperature and low power density and investigated the optical and electrical properties, as well as subband tail formation-quantified by the Urbach energy (EU )-as a function of the sputtering oxygen partial pressure. We obtain anEU as low as 128 meV for films with the highest Hall mobility of 60 cm2/V • s. When comparing the performance of a-IZO films with indium tin oxide (ITO) and hydrogenated indium oxide (IO:H), we find that IO:H (115 cm2/V • s) exhibits a similar EU of 130 meV, while ITO (25 cm2/V•s) presents a much larger EU of up to 270 meV. The high film quality, indicated by the low EU , the high mobility, and low free carrier absorption of the developed a-IZO electrodes, result in a significant current improvement, achieving conversion efficiencies over 21.5%, outperforming those with standard ITO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7155475
Pages (from-to)1340-1347
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.


  • Amorphous indium zinc oxide
  • Urbach energy
  • electron mobility
  • heterojunction
  • indium tin oxide (ITO)
  • silicon
  • solar cells
  • transparent conductive oxides (TCOs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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