Carrier-selective contacts in silicon solar cells

Priyaranga Koswatta, Mathieu Boccard, Zachary Holman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


A basic but comprehensive theory and terminology that applies to all different types of contacts in silicon solar cells has, thus far, been elusive. In this paper, we show that, while there are many desirable characteristics that make a good contact, passivation and low majority-carrier resistance are the two crucial criteria. Since all solar cells have a high density of defects that cannot be reduced at the outer metallic surfaces, limiting minority-carrier transport through the contact remains the only method of passivation. Additionally, when current is extracted from the solar cell, low power loss is achieved through uninhibited majority-carrier transport, which requires a low majority-carrier resistance in the contact. We show that carrier selectivity is automatically achieved when these two criteria are met. Furthermore, we show that selectivity can come from the selectivity of a fabricated layer as well as an induced selectivity in the bulk. We apply these principles to describe a few popular contact technologies and suggest that the same may be done for novel contacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479979448
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015
Event42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 19 2015


Other42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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