Properties of thin-film silicon solar cells at very high irradiance

Stephen Reynolds, Suman Anand, Amjad Meftah, Vladimir Smirnov

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    The focussed beam of a low-power helium–neon laser is used to study accelerated light-induced degradation (Staebler–Wronski effect) and high steady-state photocarrier generation rates in amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells, at up to 13 MW m- 2 irradiance. Even at these high power densities, COMSOL® simulations indicate that heat diffusion into the substrate, aided by spreading conduction via the Ag back-contact, restricts the temperature rise to less than 14 °C. Short-circuit current may be measured directly, and the I–V characteristic estimated by taking into account shunting by the inactive part of the cell. The improved resistance to degradation of microcrystalline silicon cells is shown to persist to high irradiance. Computer simulations of an amorphous silicon solar cell are presented that are consistent with measured un-degraded and degraded properties, and offer insight into prevailing defect creation processes and carrier recombination mechanisms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2202-2205
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Amorphous silicon
    • Microcrystalline silicon
    • Solar cells
    • Staebler–Wronski effect
    • Computer modelling


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