Document Type

Article

Date

2006

Embargo Period

10-15-2010

Keywords

Silicon, Solar cells, Conductivity

Language

English

Disciplines

Physics

Description/Abstract

The effects of low hole mobilities in the intrinsic layer of pin solar cells are illustrated using general computer modeling; in these models electron mobilities are assumed to be much larger than hole values. The models reveal that a low hole mobility can be the most important photocarrier transport parameter in determining the output power of the cell, and that the effects of recombination parameters are much weaker. Recent hole drift-mobility measurements in a-Si:H are compared. While hole drift mobilities in intrinsic a-Si:H are now up to tenfold larger than two decades ago, even with recent materials a-Si:H cells are low-mobility cells. Computer modeling of solar cells with parameters that are consistent with drift-mobility measurements give a good account for the published initial power output of cells from United Solar Ovonic Corp.; deep levels (dangling bonds) in the intrinsic layer were not included in this calculation. Light-soaking creates a sufficient density of dangling bonds to lower the power from cells below the mobility limit, but in contemporary a-Si:H solar cells degradation is not large. We discuss the speculation that light-soaking is ‘self-limiting’ in such cells.

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