Strategies for realizing high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells

Yifeng Zhao*, Paul Procel, Can Han, Liqi Cao, Guangtao Yang, Engin Özkol, Alba Alcañiz, Katarina Kovačević, Gianluca Limodio, Rudi Santbergen, Arno Smets, Arthur Weeber, Miro Zeman, Luana Mazzarella, Olindo Isabella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells have achieved a record efficiency of 26.81% in a front/back-contacted (FBC) configuration. Moreover, thanks to their advantageous high VOC and good infrared response, SHJ solar cells can be further combined with wide bandgap perovskite cells forming tandem devices to enable efficiencies well above 33%. In this study, we present strategies to realize high-efficiency SHJ solar cells through combined theoretical and experimental studies, starting from the optimization of Si-based thin-film layers to the implementation of electrodes with reduced indium and silver usage. Advanced opto-electrical simulations, which enable comprehensive theoretical understandings of the main physical mechanisms governing carriers’ collection and light management, provide clear pathways for device designs and experimental optimizations. We present the fabricated FBC-SHJ solar cells in both monofacial and bifacial configurations with the best efficiencies of 24.18% and 23.25%, respectively. We point out that to achieve optimum device performance, the compositional materials should be holistically optimized and evaluated as part of the contact stacks with adjacent layers. As an outlook beyond the classical FBC-SHJ solar cell architecture, we propose various novel SHJ-based solar cell architectures. Their potential performance was assessed and compared via rigorous opto-electrical simulations and a maximal efficiency of 27.60% was simulated for FBC-SHJ solar cells featuring localized contacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112413
Number of pages17
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume258
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Funding

This study receives financial support from the NWO Joint Solar Program III ( 680-91-011 ) and technical support from PVMD group technicians, especially Martijn Tijssen, Stefaan Heirman and Daragh O'Connor. The authors would like to also thank René van Swaaij from the PVMD group for insightful discussions as well as Peyman Taheri from the Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering faculty of the Delft University of Technology for supporting our experimental campaigns. The authors would like to thank Frans D. Tichelaar from the Kavli Institute of Technology of the Delft University of Technology for performing high-resolution transmission electron microscopy measurements and energy-dispersive X-ray elemental mapping analyses.

Funding Information:
This study receives financial support from the NWO Joint Solar Program III (680-91-011) and technical support from PVMD group technicians, especially Martijn Tijssen, Stefaan Heirman and Daragh O'Connor. The authors would like to also thank René van Swaaij from the PVMD group for insightful discussions as well as Peyman Taheri from the Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering faculty of the Delft University of Technology for supporting our experimental campaigns. The authors would like to thank Frans D. Tichelaar from the Kavli Institute of Technology of the Delft University of Technology for performing high-resolution transmission electron microscopy measurements and energy-dispersive X-ray elemental mapping analyses.

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