• Mazzarella, L.; Kirner, S.; Stannowski, B.; Korte, L.; Rech, B.; Schlatmann, R.: p-type microcrystalline silicon oxide emitter for silicon heterojunction solar cells allowing current densities above 40 mA/cm2. Applied Physics Letters 106 (2015), p. 023902/1-5


We have developed a microcrystalline silicon oxide (μc-SiOx:H) p-type emitter layer that significantly improves the light incoupling at the front side of silicon heterojunction solar cells by minimizing reflection losses. The μc-SiOx:H p-layer with a refractive index of 2.87 at 632 nm wavelength and the transparent conducting oxide form a stack with refractive indexes which consecutively decrease from silicon to the ambient air and thus significantly reduce the reflection. Optical simulations performed for flat wafers reveal that the antireflective effect of the emitter overcompensates the parasitic absorption and suggest an ideal thickness of about 40 nm. On textured wafers, the increase in current density is still more than 1 mA/cm2 for a typical emitter thickness of 10 nm. Thus, we are able to fabricate heterojunction solar cells with current densities significantly over 40 mA/cm2 and power conversion efficiency above 20%, which is yet mainly limited by the cell's fill factor.