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Thin-film polysilicon solar cells are a promising low-cost alternative for bulk silicon solar cells due to their reduced material thickness. Recently, we showed that the use of an amorphous silicon/polycrystalline silicon heterojunction emitter instead of a diffused homojunction emitter led to a boost in the open-circuit voltage by 90 mV. Now, we present a full evidence that shows that this improvement is related to the absence of dopant smearing along the grain boundaries. By using scanning spreading resistance microscopy, we found an enlargement of the junction area by a factor of five in case of a homojunction. The tips of the dopant spikes represent lowly doped areas with an enhanced recombination.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007