Transparent silicon carbide/tunnel SiO2 passivation for c-Si solar cell front side: Enabling Jsc > 42 mA/cm2 and iVoc of 742 mV

Manuel Pomaska, Malte Köhler, Paul Procel Moya, Alexandr Zamchiy, Aryak Singh, Do Yun Kim, Olindo Isabella, Miro Zeman, Shenghao Li, More Authors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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N-type microcrystalline silicon carbide (μc-SiC:H(n)) is a wide bandgap material that is very promising for the use on the front side of crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. It offers a high optical transparency and a suitable refractive index that reduces parasitic absorption and reflection losses, respectively. In this work, we investigate the potential of hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD)–grown μc-SiC:H(n) for c-Si solar cells with interdigitated back contacts (IBC). We demonstrate outstanding passivation quality of μc-SiC:H(n) on tunnel oxide (SiO2)–passivated c-Si with an implied open-circuit voltage of 742 mV and a saturation current density of 3.6 fA/cm2. This excellent passivation quality is achieved directly after the HWCVD deposition of μc-SiC:H(n) at 250°C heater temperature without any further treatments like recrystallization or hydrogenation. Additionally, we developed magnesium fluoride (MgF2)/silicon nitride (SiNx:H)/silicon carbide antireflection coatings that reduce optical losses on the front side to only 0.47 mA/cm2 with MgF2/SiNx:H/μc-SiC:H(n) and 0.62 mA/cm2 with MgF2/μc-SiC:H(n). Finally, calculations with Sentaurus TCAD simulation using MgF2/μc-SiC:H(n)/SiO2/c-Si as front side layer stack in an IBC solar cell reveal a short-circuit current density of 42.2 mA/cm2, an open-circuit voltage of 738 mV, a fill factor of 85.2% and a maximum power conversion efficiency of 26.6%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: research and applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • antireflecting coating
  • excellent passivation
  • heterojunction
  • hot wire CVD
  • lean process
  • refractive index
  • silicon carbide
  • tunnel oxide

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