• Zhong, S.; Morales-Masis, M.; Mews, M.; Korte, L.; Jeangros, Q.; Wu, W.; Boccard, M.; Ballif, C.: Exploring co-sputtering of ZnO:Al and SiO2 for efficient electron-selective contacts on silicon solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 194 (2019), p. 67-73

Open Access Version

In recent years, considerable efforts have been devoted to developing novel electron-selective materials for crystalline Si (c-Si) solar cells with the attempts to simplify the fabrication process and improve efficiency. In this study, ZnO:Al (AZO) is co-sputtered with SiO2 to form AZO:SiO2 films with different SiO2 content. These nanometer-scale films, deposited on top of thin intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon films and capped with low-work-function metal (such as Al and Mg), are demonstrated to function effectively as electron-selective contacts in c-Si solar cells. On the one hand, AZO:SiO2 plays an important role in such electron-selective contact and its thickness is a critical parameter, with a thickness of 2 nm showing the best performance. On the other hand, at the optimal thickness of AZO:SiO2, the open circuit voltage (VOC) of the solar cells is found to be relatively insensitive to material properties of AZO:SiO2. Whereas, regarding the fill factor (FF), AZO without SiO2 content exhibits to be the optimal choice. By using AZO/Al as electron-selective contact, we successfully realize a 19.5\%-efficient solar cell with VOC over 700 mV and FF around 75\%, which is the best result among c-Si solar cells using ZnO as electron-selective contact. Also, this work implies that efficient carrier-selective film can be made by magnetron sputtering method.