High-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells: A review

Stefaan DeWolf*, Antoine Descoeudres, Zachary C. Holman, Christophe Ballif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

758 Scopus citations


Silicon heterojunction solar cells consist of thin amorphous silicon layers deposited on crystalline silicon wafers. This design enables energy conversion efficiencies above 20% at the industrial production level. The key feature of this technology is that the metal contacts, which are highly recombination active in traditional, diffused-junction cells, are electronically separated from the absorber by insertion of a wider bandgap layer. This enables the record open-circuit voltages typically associated with heterojunction devices without the need for expensive patterning techniques. This article reviews the salient points of this technology. First, we briefly elucidate device characteristics. This is followed by a discussion of each processing step, device operation, and device stability and industrial upscaling, including the fabrication of solar cells with energyconversion efficiencies over 21%. Finally, future trends are pointed out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-24
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterojunctions
  • High efficiency
  • Photovoltaics
  • Silicon
  • Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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