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Published May 1, 2017 | public
Journal Article

Silicon heterojunction solar cells with effectively transparent front contacts


We demonstrate silicon heterojunction solar cells with microscale effectively transparent front contacts (ETCs) that redirect incoming light to the active area of the solar cell. Replacing standard contact electrodes by ETCs leads to an enhancement in short circuit current density of 2.2 mA cm^(−2) through mitigation of 6% shading losses and improved antireflection layers. ETCs enable low loss lateral carrier transport, with cells achieving an 80.7% fill factor. Furthermore, dense spacing of the contact lines allows for a reduced indium tin oxide thickness and use of non-conductive, optically optimized antireflection coatings such as silicon nitride. We investigated the performance of ETCs under varying light incidence angles, and for angles parallel to the ETC lines find that there is no difference in photocurrent density with respect to bare indium tin oxide layers. For angles perpendicular to the ETC lines, we find that the external quantum efficiency (EQE) always outperforms cells with flat contact grids.

Additional Information

© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 16 Feb 2017, Accepted 27 Feb 2017, First published online 27 Feb 2017. This material was based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium under Award Number DE-EE0004946. Authors and their work presented herein are funded in part by the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, under Award Number DE-EE0006335. This material is based upon work supported by the Engineering Research Center Program of the National Science Foundation and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy under NSF Cooperative Agreement No. EEC-1041895. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation or Department of Energy.

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