Non PN junction solar cells using carrier selective contacts

Stuart Bowden, Kunal Ghosh, Christiana Honsberg

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

4 Scopus citations


A novel device concept utilizing the approach of selectively extracting carriers at the respective contacts is outlined in the work. The dominant silicon solar cell technology is based on a diffused, top-contacted p-n junction on a relatively thick silicon wafer for both commercial and laboratory solar cells. The VOC and hence the efficiency of a diffused p-n junction solar cell is limited by the emitter recombination current and a value of 720 mV is considered to be the upper limit. The value is more than 100 mV smaller than the thermodynamic limit of VOC as applicable for silicon based solar cells. Also, in diffused junction the use of thin wafers (< 50 um) are problematic because of the requirement of high temperature processing steps. But a number of roadmaps have identified solar cells manufactured on thinner silicon wafers to achieve lower cost and higher efficiency. The carrier selective contact device provides a novel alternative to diffused p-n junction solar cells by eliminating the need for complementary doping to form the emitter and hence it allows the solar cells to achieve a VOC of greater than 720 mV. Also, the complete device structure can be fabricated with low temperature thin film deposition or organic coating on silicon substrates and thus epitaxially grown silicon or kerfless silicon, in addition to standard silicon wafers can be utilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhysics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices II
StatePublished - 2013
Event2nd Symposium on Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 3 2013Feb 7 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


Other2nd Symposium on Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • efficiency
  • photovoltaic
  • silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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