Passivating contacts for crystalline silicon solar cells

by Thomas G. Allen, James Bullock, Xinbo Yang, Ali Javey, Stefaan De Wolf
Review Year: 2019

Bibliography

Allen, T. G., Bullock, J., Yang, X., Javey, A., De Wolf, S., Passivating contacts for crystalline silicon solar cells, Nature Energy 2019.

Extra Information

A comprehensive review covering the passivating contacts for silicon solar cells.

Abstract

The global photovoltaic (PV) market is dominated by crystalline silicon (c-Si) based technologies with heavily doped, directly metallized contacts. Recombination of photo-generated electrons and holes at the contact regions is increasingly constraining the power conversion efficiencies of these devices as other performance-limiting energy losses are overcome. To move forward, c-Si PV technologies must implement alternative contacting approaches. Passivating contacts, which incorporate thin films within the contact structure that simultaneously supress recombination and promote charge-carrier selectivity, are a promising next step for the mainstream c-Si PV industry. In this work, we review the fundamental physical processes governing contact formation in c-Si. In doing so we identify the role passivating contacts play in increasing c-Si solar cell efficiencies beyond the limitations imposed by heavy doping and direct metallization. Strategies towards the implementation of passivating contacts in industrial environments are discussed.

Keywords

Silicon solar cells passivating contacts