Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

Correlation of light-induced changes in a-Si:H films with characteristics of corresponding solar cells

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference

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For the first time direct correlations are obtained between the light induced changes under 1 sun illumination in the properties of a-Si:H and those in the characteristics of p-i-n cells incorporating identically-prepared i-layers. These correlations were obtained after account was taken of the effects that the location of the electron and hole quasi-Fermi levels have on the carrier recombination that occurs through the different gap states. The changes in midgap state density, as measured on the films and reflected in the subgap absorption at 1.2 eV, are directly correlated with changes in the dark I-V characteristics under low forward bias. In this case small quasi-Fermi level splitting is present so the recombination of the injected carriers is determined by the midgap states in the bulk of the i-layer. In addition, the changes in the electron mobility-lifetime products as measured on the films are correlated with changes in the fill factor measured on cells under the same conditions as long as large quasi-Fermi level splitting is present and recombination occurs through states spanning a wide region of the gap, such as occurs under 1 sun illumination. The results explain (i) the failure of numerous attempts to correlate the degradation of solar cells reliably with the creation of dangling bond defects and (ii) the inadequacy of the large number of modeling results that assume such a correlation.

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