Passivated contacts to n+ and p+ silicon based on amorphous silicon and thin dielectrics

James Bullock, Di Yan, Andres Cuevas, Benedicte Demaurex, Aicha Hessler-Wyser, Stefaan De Wolf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Carrier recombination at the metal contact regions has now become a critical obstacle to the advancement of high efficiency diffused junction silicon solar cells. The insertion of a thin dielectric interlayer - forming a metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) contact - is a known approach to reduce contact recombination. However, an insulator thickness less than 25 Å is usually required for current transport, making it difficult to simultaneously achieve good surface passivation. This paper compares standard MIS contacts to a newly developed contact structure, involving hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) over-layers. The contact structures are trialed on both n+ and p+ lightly diffused surfaces, with SiO2 and Al2O3 insulator layers, respectively. In both cases significant improvements in the carrier-selectivity of the contacts is achieved with the addition of the a-Si:H over-layers. Simulations of idealized cell structures are used to highlight the performance and technological benefits of these carrier-selective structures over standard locally diffused contacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479943982
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2014Jun 13 2014


Other40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • amorphous silicon
  • contact passivation
  • high efficiency
  • selective contacts
  • silicon solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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