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Open Access Nano Commentary

Interface modification effect between p-type a-SiC:H and ZnO:Al in p-i-n amorphous silicon solar cells

Seungsin Baek1*, Jeong Chul Lee2, Youn-Jung Lee1, Sk Md Iftiquar1, Youngkuk Kim1, Jinjoo Park1 and Junsin Yi1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Information and Communication Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon, 440-746, South Korea

2 Photovoltaic Research Center, Korea Institute of Energy Research, 152 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-343, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:81  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-81

Published: 18 January 2012

Abstract

Aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) [AZO] is a good candidate to be used as a transparent conducting oxide [TCO]. For solar cells having a hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide [a-SiC:H] or hydrogenated amorphous silicon [a-Si:H] window layer, the use of the AZO as TCO results in a deterioration of fill factor [FF], so fluorine-doped tin oxide (Sn02:F) [FTO] is usually preferred as a TCO. In this study, interface engineering is carried out at the AZO and p-type a-SiC:H interface to obtain a better solar cell performance without loss in the FF. The abrupt potential barrier at the interface of AZO and p-type a-SiC:H is made gradual by inserting a buffer layer. A few-nanometer-thick nanocrystalline silicon buffer layer between the AZO and a-SiC:H enhances the FF from 67% to 73% and the efficiency from 7.30% to 8.18%. Further improvements in the solar cell performance are expected through optimization of cell structures and doping levels.

Keywords:
buffer layer; amorphous materials; thin films; plasma deposition; electrical properties