Why is the open-circuit voltage of crystalline Si solar cells so critically dependent on emitter- and base-doping?

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This paper discusses the critical dependence of the open-circuit voltage (VOC) of crystalline Si solar cells on the emitter and base doping levels. Contrary to conventional models that try to ascribe VOC-limitations to (independent) bulk and surface recombination losses, the authors suggest, as the dominant mechanism, the formation of a compensated ``buffer layer'' that is formed as phosphorus is diffused into the p-type (boron-doped) base. The only purpose of the base doping is to optimize the buffer layer. Their calculations show that this model makes the achievement of high VOC and good carrier collection (JSC, FF) interdependent. Sanyo's ``HIT'' solar ... continued below

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von Roedern, B. & Bauer, G. H. October 26, 1999.

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This paper discusses the critical dependence of the open-circuit voltage (VOC) of crystalline Si solar cells on the emitter and base doping levels. Contrary to conventional models that try to ascribe VOC-limitations to (independent) bulk and surface recombination losses, the authors suggest, as the dominant mechanism, the formation of a compensated ``buffer layer'' that is formed as phosphorus is diffused into the p-type (boron-doped) base. The only purpose of the base doping is to optimize the buffer layer. Their calculations show that this model makes the achievement of high VOC and good carrier collection (JSC, FF) interdependent. Sanyo's ``HIT'' solar cells are an example of a different method to implement this buffer layer concept for crystalline Si solar cells. The general principle for a VOC-enhancing buffer layer relies on using materials with high lifetimes and low carrier mobilities that are capable of reducing surface or junction recombination by reducing the flow of carriers into this loss-pathway.

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  • 9th Workshop on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Materials and Processes, Breckenridge, CO (US), 08/09/1999--08/11/1999

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  • Report No.: NREL/CP--520-26947
  • Grant Number: AC36-99GO10337
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 752522
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709832

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  • October 26, 1999

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • July 13, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

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von Roedern, B. & Bauer, G. H. Why is the open-circuit voltage of crystalline Si solar cells so critically dependent on emitter- and base-doping?, article, October 26, 1999; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709832/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.