Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells

Mathieu Boccard, Zachary Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g., forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We investigate the potential use of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers to sidestep this issue. The passivation obtained using device-relevant stacks of intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide with various carbon contents and doped amorphous silicon are evaluated, and their stability upon annealing assessed, amorphous silicon carbide being shown to surpass amorphous silicon for temperatures above 300 °C. We demonstrate open-circuit voltage values over 700 mV for complete cells, and an improved temperature stability for the open-circuit voltage. Transport of electrons and holes across the hetero-interface is studied with complete cells having amorphous silicon carbide either on the hole-extracting side or on the electron-extracting side, and a better transport of holes than of electrons is shown. Also, due to slightly improved transparency, complete solar cells using an amorphous silicon carbide passivation layer on the hole-collecting side are demonstrated to show slightly better performances even prior to annealing than obtained with a standard amorphous silicon layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065704
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Amorphous silicon carbide passivating layers for crystalline-silicon-based heterojunction solar cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this