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Latest Developments of High-Efficiency Micromorph Tandem Silicon Solar Cells Implementing Innovative Substrate Materials and Improved Cell Design

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16 Author(s)
Meillaud, F. ; Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, Institute of Microengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland ; Billet, A. ; Battaglia, C. ; Boccard, M.
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We report on the latest research developments of micromorph (amorphous/microcrystalline) tandem silicon solar cells in our laboratory. We show that an improved cell design based on the use of silicon-oxide-doped layers permits high efficiencies on substrates that are usually considered as inappropriate for microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) growth. Furthermore, advanced superstrates have recently been developed based on, e.g., multiscales textures, ultraviolet nanoimprint lithography, and bilayers, leading to very promising results. While efficiencies of 12.7% initial and 11.3% stable were achieved with a bottom cell that is only 1.1 μm thick on a rough front zinc oxide electrode, a high 12% initial efficiency was also reached on a textured replica. Our lab also placed emphasis on increasing the deposition rate of μc-Si:H, and we observed that high depletion conditions lead to dense, high-quality material. So far, conversion efficiencies up to 8.5% have been achieved with single-junction 1.8-μm-thick μc-Si:H solar cells deposited at 1 nm/s. We also report a promising initial efficiency of 12.1% for a micromorph cell with a 1-μm-thick bottom cell, for which the absorber layer was grown at 1 nm/s.

Published in:

Photovoltaics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 3 )