Charge collection, transient photocurrents and collection efficiency under additional bias illumination were used to characterize 3–4 micron thick a-Si:H pin-diodes. The wavelength dependent decrease or increase in the spectral response, depending on the bias flux and absorption depth, is related to the distribution of the electric field, recombination and majority carrier diffusion. At higher photon flux an overshoot in the transient photocurrent after switch-on of steady illumination indicates the time scale for the changes in internal variables. Collection efficiencies under large bias monochromatic photon flux well in excess of the maximum value of 100 % for probe beam generated carriers are observed with a large amplification ratio. These efficiencies sensitively depend both on the applied voltage and the defect density. Numerical modelling reveals the influence of internal variables on the transient and steady state photocurrents under the different illumination conditions.
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