Influence of TCO type on the performance of amorphous silicon solar cells

Alan E. Delahoy, Alexander P. Stavrides, Anamika M. Patel, Loan T. Le, John A. Cambridge, Yue Xu, Sheyu Guo

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

10 Scopus citations


We have deposited textured ZnO:Al films over large areas using a reactive-environment hollow cathode sputtering (RE-HCS) system developed in house, and have achieved excellent carrier mobilities (up to 49.5 cm 2/Vs at a carrier concentration of 4.42 x 1020/cm 3). Both the electrical properties and optical properties (total transmission and haze) are superior to those exhibited by commercially available SnO2:F. Using these textured ZnO:Al films, we have achieved an a-Si:H solar cell efficiency boost of 8% relative to commercial SnO 2:F superstrates which resulted from improvements in all three PV parameters, namely Voc, Jsc, and FF. We have also determined the dependence of cell performance on the degree of haze in the ZnO:Al films. Electrical, physical, and optical properties of ZnO:Al and SnO2:F, as determined by four-point probe, Hall effect, SEM, AFM, ICP, transmission (total and diffuse), and work function measurements are presented and correlated to the observed differences in a-Si solar cell performance. We have also developed a refractive index matching layer that, when inserted between the TCO and the a-Si:H layers, resulted in an increase in Jsc of 3%. Finally, we present some experiments on the effect of TCO type on nc-Si:H solar cell performance. From these experiments, we confirmed that SnO2:F by itself is not a suitable TCO for nc-Si:H cells, but found that SnO2:F overcoated with TiO2 followed by ZnO was the most effective superstrate for this type of cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies II
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2008Aug 11 2008

Publication series

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


OtherPhotovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Amorphous Si
  • Carrier mobility
  • Light trapping
  • SnO
  • TCO
  • Thin-film solar cells
  • ZnO
  • a-Si


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