Stannowski, B.; Ruske, F.; Neubert, S.; Schönau, S.; Ring, S.; Calnan, S.; Wimmer, M.; Gabriel, O.; Szyszka, B.; Rech, B.; Schlatmann, R.: Potential of high-mobility sputtered zinc oxide as front contact for high efficiency thin film silicon solar cells. Thin Solid Films 555 (2014), p. 138–142

For thin film silicon solar cells with high conversion efficiency and low production costs transparent conducting oxide (TCO) substrates with a high performance are required. TCO layers must have excellent conductivity and high transparency over a wide range in the VIS/NIR wavelength spectrum. Moreover, an advanced light trapping scheme has to be implemented, generally obtained by TCO surface texture. For low production costs it is favorable to keep the TCO and silicon layers as thin as possible. We present methods that accomplish all of these requirements. Tandem solar based on amorphous and microcrystalline silicon deposited on DC magnetron-sputtered zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) coated substrates, which have been capped with silicon and subsequently annealed at 500°C, result in an efficiency improved by 0.4 % reaching 12.4 %. This is due to the increased carrier mobility, reaching up to 70 cm2/Vs, and improved transparency of the ZnO:Al. The high TCO conductivity allows for reducing the layer thickness significantly. In order to demonstrate the potential of combining this improved TCO with new light scattering concepts, we show results of a tandem cell on substrates comprising ZnO:Al sputtered on sol-gel coated light-scattering layers with dielectric particles having excellent light trapping properties. Combining both methods will allow for thin film silicon solar cells with high efficiency and potentially low production costs.