A silicon carbide-based highly transparent passivating contact for crystalline silicon solar cells approaching efficiencies of 24%

Malte Köhler, Manuel Pomaska, Paul Procel, Rudi Santbergen, Alexandr Zamchiy, Bart Macco, Andreas Lambertz, Weiyuan Duan, Pengfei Cao, Benjamin Klingebiel, Shenghao Li, Alexander Eberst, Martina Luysberg, Kaifu Qiu, Olindo Isabella, Friedhelm Finger, Thomas Kirchartz, Uwe Rau, Kaining Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A highly transparent passivating contact (TPC) as front contact for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells could in principle combine high conductivity, excellent surface passivation and high optical transparency. However, the simultaneous optimization of these features remains challenging. Here, we present a TPC consisting of a silicon-oxide tunnel layer followed by two layers of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon carbide (nc-SiC:H(n)) deposited at different temperatures and a sputtered indium tin oxide (ITO) layer (c-Si(n)/SiO2/nc-SiC:H(n)/ITO). While the wide band gap of nc-SiC:H(n) ensures high optical transparency, the double layer design enables good passivation and high conductivity translating into an improved short-circuit current density (40.87 mA cm−2), fill factor (80.9%) and efficiency of 23.99 ± 0.29% (certified). Additionally, this contact avoids the need for additional hydrogenation or high-temperature postdeposition annealing steps. We investigate the passivation mechanism and working principle of the TPC and provide a loss analysis based on numerical simulations outlining pathways towards conversion efficiencies of 26%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
JournalNature Energy
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

OECD FOS+WOS

  • 2.07.ID ENERGY & FUELS
  • 2.05.PM MATERIALS SCIENCE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY
  • 2.07 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

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