Current losses at the front of silicon heterojunction solar cells

Zachary C. Holman, Antoine Descoeudres, Loris Barraud, Fernando Zicarelli Fernandez, Johannes P. Seif, Stefaan De Wolf, Christophe Ballif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

450 Scopus citations


The current losses due to parasitic absorption in the indium tin oxide (ITO) and amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers at the front of silicon heterojunction solar cells are isolated and quantified. Quantum efficiency spectra of cells in which select layers are omitted reveal that the collection efficiency of carriers generated in the ITO and doped a-Si:H layers is zero, and only 30% of light absorbed in the intrinsic a-Si:H layer contributes to the short-circuit current. Using the optical constants of each layer acquired from ellipsometry as inputs in a model, the quantum efficiency and short-wavelength current loss of a heterojunction cell with arbitrary a-Si:H layer thicknesses and arbitrary ITO doping can be correctly predicted. A 4 cm 2 solar cell in which these parameters have been optimized exhibits a short-circuit current density of 38.1mA/cm 2 and an efficiency of 20.8%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6129468
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Amorphous silicon
  • heterojunctions
  • photovoltaic cells
  • silicon
  • solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Current losses at the front of silicon heterojunction solar cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this