A review on progress of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells

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Abstract

This paper describes the continuous progress of amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (μc-Si:H) silicon based thin film solar cells and discusses its present scenarios based on patents and open reviews. The efficiency of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film solar cells has gradually improved from 2.4% to 15.2% (stable 13.0%). The major advantages of a-Si:H solar cells are the multijunction device capability, bandgap tailoring, easy fabrication, large scale production and high optical absorption coefficient. But the important factor for higher stabilized efficiencies is light induced effect on a-Si:H based solar cells was first reported by Staebler and Wronski. The highest recorded stabilized efficiency in micromorph cell is 10.18%. Though a lot of improvements have been done yet it needs more investigation. However, the improvement of open circuit voltage (Voc) is reviewed that is done with wide bangdgap window layers (a-SiC:H, μc-SiO:H, nc-Si:H etc) and inserting buffer layers at p/i and i/n interfaces in a-Si:H solar cells. An achievement of higher short circuit current (Jsc) by light trapping scheme is also reviewed. The material search for good optical and electrical properties and the device design technology is an immense need for further improvements of a-Si:H solar cell performances which are also being discussed with analysis of most relevant patents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
Number of pages13
JournalRecent Patents on Electrical Engineering
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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Microcrystalline silicon
Silicon solar cells
Amorphous silicon
Solar cells
Open circuit voltage
Buffer layers
Short circuit currents
Light absorption
Electric properties
Energy gap
Optical properties
Fabrication
Silicon
Thin film solar cells

Keywords

  • Amorphous silicon
  • Buffer layer
  • Multijunction
  • Open circuit voltage
  • Short circuit voltage and light induced effect
  • Stabilized efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper describes the continuous progress of amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (μc-Si:H) silicon based thin film solar cells and discusses its present scenarios based on patents and open reviews. The efficiency of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film solar cells has gradually improved from 2.4{\%} to 15.2{\%} (stable 13.0{\%}). The major advantages of a-Si:H solar cells are the multijunction device capability, bandgap tailoring, easy fabrication, large scale production and high optical absorption coefficient. But the important factor for higher stabilized efficiencies is light induced effect on a-Si:H based solar cells was first reported by Staebler and Wronski. The highest recorded stabilized efficiency in micromorph cell is 10.18{\%}. Though a lot of improvements have been done yet it needs more investigation. However, the improvement of open circuit voltage (Voc) is reviewed that is done with wide bangdgap window layers (a-SiC:H, μc-SiO:H, nc-Si:H etc) and inserting buffer layers at p/i and i/n interfaces in a-Si:H solar cells. An achievement of higher short circuit current (Jsc) by light trapping scheme is also reviewed. The material search for good optical and electrical properties and the device design technology is an immense need for further improvements of a-Si:H solar cell performances which are also being discussed with analysis of most relevant patents.",
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