The Role of High Work-Function Metallic Nanodots on the Performance of a-Si:H Solar Cells: Offering Ohmic Contact to Light Trapping

TitleThe Role of High Work-Function Metallic Nanodots on the Performance of a-Si:H Solar Cells: Offering Ohmic Contact to Light Trapping
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKim, J, Abou-Kandil, A, Fogel, K, Hovel, H, Sadana, DK
JournalAcs Nano
Volume4
Issue12
Pagination7331 - 7336
Date Published2010/12//
Abstract

Addition of carbon into p-type "window" layers in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells enhances short circuit currents and open circuit voltages by a great deal. However, a-Si:H solar cells with high carbon-doped "window" layers exhibit poor fill factors due to a Schottky barrier-like impedance at the interface between a-SIC:H windows and transparent conducting oxides (TCO), although they show maximized short circuit currents and open circuit voltages. The impedance is caused by an increasing mismatch between the work function of TCO and that of p-type a-SiC:H. Applying ultrathin high-work-function metals at the interface between the two materials results in an effective lowering of the work function mismatch and a consequent ohmic behavior. If the metal layer Is sufficiently thin, then It forms nanodots rather than a continuous layer which provides light-scattering effect. We demonstrate 31% efficiency enhancement by using high-work-function materials for engineering the work function at the key interfaces to raise fill factors as well as photocurrents. The use of metallic Interface layers in this work is a clear contrast to previous work where attempts were made to enhance the photocurrent using plasmonic metal nanodots on the solar cell surface.