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Hole-Selective Electron-Blocking Copper Oxide Contact for Silicon Solar Cells

TitleHole-Selective Electron-Blocking Copper Oxide Contact for Silicon Solar Cells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRavindra, P, Mukherjee, R, Avasthi, S
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
KeywordsAbsorption, Charge carrier processes, Heterojunctions, Impurities, Photovoltaic cells, silicon, Spectroscopy

Metal-oxide/silicon carrier-selective heterojunctions may be a low-cost high-efficiency alternative to conventional silicon solar cells. Here, a passivated Si/cuprous oxide (Cu2O) hole-selective heterojunction with high open-circuit voltage (VOC) is reported. Cu2O is abundant, nontoxic, and can be deposited at low temperatures and potentially at low cost. The Si/Cu2O heterojunction has a large conduction band offset of 0.9 eV and a negligible valence band offset, which blocks the transport of electrons but allows the transport of holes. The as-deposited hetero-interface is limited due to a high density of defects. However, the interface defect density can be reduced by a 1.2 nm thin tunneling SiO2 layer, which enables the realization of a Si/Cu2O heterojunction solar cell with an open-circuit voltage (VOC) of 0.528 V, a 200 mV improvement over the state-of-the-art.