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Tunnel MIS solar cells utilizing polycrystalline semiconductors are an attractive alternative to conventional p–n junction devices for fabricating large‐scale solar energy conversion arrays. The main effect of the grain boundaries in polycrystalline semiconductors is to reduce the lifetime of the minority carriers. Experimental work indicates that the potential barrier near the grain boundary has a very limited effect on the barrier height which, in turn, controls open‐circuit voltage of the device. The collection efficiency depends upon the grain size of the crystallites, in addition to other device parameters. A simple description of the performance of polycrystalline MIS solar cells will be presented, based on the above mentioned electrical characteristics.