Cruz, A.; Erfurt, D.; Wagner, P.; Morales-Vilches, A.B.; Ruske, F.; Schlatmann, R.; Stannowski, B.: Optoelectrical analysis of TCO+Silicon oxide double layers at the front and rear side of silicon heterojunction solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 236 (2022), p. 111493/1-7
Open Access Version
Silicon Heterojunction has become a promising technology to substitute passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) solar cells in pursuance of lower levelized cost of electricity through high efficiency devices. While high open circuit voltages and fill factors are reached, current loss related to the front and rear contacts, such as the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layers is still a limiting factor to come closer to the efficiency limit of silicon based solar cells. Furthermore, reducing indium consumption for the TCO has become mandatory to push silicon heterojunction technology towards a terawatt scale production due to material scarcity and costs. To address these issues dielectric layers, such as silicon dioxide or nitride cappings are implemented to reduce TCO thicknesses both diminishing parasitic absorption and material consumption. However, reducing the TCO thickness comes in cost of resistive losses. Furthermore, the TCO properties do vary with thickness and neighboring layer configuration altering the optimization frame of the device. In this paper we present a detailed analysis to quantify the optoelectrical losses trade-off associated to the TCO thickness reduction in such layer stacks. Through the analysis we show and explain why experimental bifacial cells with 20 nm front and rear TCO perform at a similar level to reference cells with 75 nm under front and rear illumination reaching efficiency close to 24% at 92% bifaciality. We present as well a simple interconnection method via screen printing metallization to implement a thin TCO/silicon dioxide/silver reflector enhancing current density from 39.6 to 40.4 mA/cm2 without compromising resistive losses resulting in a 0.2% absolute solar cell efficiency increase from a bifacial design (23.5–23.7%). Finally, following this approach we present a certified champion cell with an efficiency of 24.6%.