Deposition pressure effects on material structure and performance of micromorph tandem solar cells

Paola Delli Veneri, Lucia V. Mercaldo, Carlo Privato

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Tandem solar cells represent an elegant way of overcoming the efficiency limits of single-junction solar cells and reducing the light-induced degradation of amorphous silicon films. Stacked structures consisting of an amorphous silicon top cell and a microcrystalline silicon bottom cell allow a good utilization of the solar spectrum due to the band gap values of the two materials. These devices, firstly introduced by the IMT research group, were designated as "micromorph" tandem solar cells. To better exploit this concept, it is important to tune parameters like the band gaps and the short-circuit currents. In this work, we have realized micromorph tandem solar cells on Asahi U-type TCO-covered glass substrates. The intrinsic layer of both the amorphous top cell and the microcrystalline bottom cell is grown by very high frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (VHF-PECVD) at 100 MHz at low substrate temperature (150 °C). Finally, a ZnO reflector and a metal contact complete the structure. No intermediate optical mirror between the two cells is used at this stage. Undiluted a-Si:H, with reduced band gap when compared to H2-diluted amorphous silicon, is used as absorber layer in the top cell. As for the bottom cell, the high-pressure-high-power regime (up to 267 Pa-80 W) has been explored aiming at growing high-quality microcrystalline silicon at large deposition rates. The effect of the structural composition of the microcrystalline absorber layer on the current-voltage characteristic and spectral response of tandem devices has been investigated. An efficiency of 11.3% has been obtained with short-circuit current densities around 13 mA/cm2, open-circuit voltages ∼1.34 V and fill factors ∼66%. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42 - 47
Number of pages6
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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