In this paper, two-dimensional (2D) simulation of interdigitated back contact silicon heterojunction (IBC-SHJ) solar cells is presented using Sentaurus Device, a software package of Synopsys TCAD. A model is established incorporating a distribution of trap states of amorphous-silicon material and thermionic emission across the amorphous-silicon / crystalline-silicon hetero-interface. The 2D nature of IBC-SHJ device is evaluated and current density-voltage (J-V) curves are generated. Optimization of IBC-SHJ solar cells is then discussed through simulation. It is shown that the open circuit voltage (VOC) and short circuit current density (JSC) of IBC-SHJ solar cells increase with decreasing front surface recombination velocity. The JSC improves further with the increase of relative coverage of p-type emitter contacts, which is explained by the simulated and measured position dependent laser beam induced current (LBIC) line scan. The S-shaped J-V curves with low fill factor (FF) observed in experiments are also simulated, and three methods to improve FF by modifying the intrinsic a-Si buffer layer are suggested: (i) decreased thickness, (ii) increased conductivity, and (iii) reduced band gap. With all these optimizations, an efficiency of 26% for IBC-SHJ solar cells is potentially achievable.