Effects of (i)a-Si: H deposition temperature on high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells

Yifeng Zhao*, Paul Procel, Arno Smets, Luana Mazzarella, Can Han, Guangtao Yang, Liqi Cao, Zhirong Yao, Arthur Weeber, Miro Zeman, Olindo Isabella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Excellent surface passivation induced by (i)a-Si:H is critical to achieve high-efficiency silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells. This is key for conventional single-junction cell applications but also for bottom cell application in tandem devices. In this study, we investigated the effects of (i)a-Si:H deposition temperature on passivation quality and SHJ solar cell performance. At the lower end of temperatures ranging from 140°C to 200°C, it was observed with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) that (i)a-Si:H films are less dense, thus hindering their surface passivation capabilities. However, with additional hydrogen plasma treatments (HPTs), those (i)a-Si:H layers deposited at lower temperatures exhibited significant improvements and better passivation qualities than their counterparts deposited at higher temperatures. On the other hand, even though we observed the highest VOCs for cells with (i)a-Si:H deposited at the lowest temperature (140°C), the related FFs are poorer as compared to their higher temperature counterparts. The optimum trade-off between VOC and FF for the SHJ cells was found with temperatures ranging from 160°C to 180°C, which delivered independently certified efficiencies of 23.71%. With a further improved p-layer that enables a FF of 83.3%, an efficiency of 24.18% was achieved. Thus, our study reveals two critical requirements for optimizing the (i)a-Si:H layers in high-efficiency SHJ solar cells: (i) excellent surface passivation quality to reduce losses induced by interface recombination and simultaneously (ii) less-defective (i)a-Si:H bulk to not disrupt the charge carrier collections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1180
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: research and applications
Volume31 (2023)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • FTIR
  • intrinsic amorphous silicon
  • passivation
  • silicon heterojunction solar cells


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