Atomic-layer-deposited transparent electrodes for silicon heterojunction solar cells

Benedicte Demaurex*, Johannes P. Seif, Sjoerd Smit, Bart MacCo, W. M.M.Erwin Kessels, Jonas Geissbuhler, Stefaan De Wolf, Christophe Ballif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We examine damage-free transparent-electrode deposition to fabricate high-efficiency amorphous silicon/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. Such solar cells usually feature sputtered transparent electrodes, the deposition of which may damage the layers underneath. Using atomic layer deposition, we insert thin protective films between the amorphous silicon layers and sputtered contacts and investigate their effect on device operation. We find that a 20-nm-thick protective layer suffices to preserve, unchanged, the amorphous silicon layers beneath. Insertion of such protective atomic-layer-deposited layers yields slightly higher internal voltages at low carrier injection levels. However, we identify the presence of a silicon oxide layer, formed during processing, between the amorphous silicon and the atomic-layer-deposited transparent electrode that acts as a barrier, impeding hole and electron collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6895243
Pages (from-to)1387-1396
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • heterojunction
  • solar cells
  • sputter damage
  • zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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