The trade-off between transmittance and conductivity of the front contact material poses a bottleneck for thin film solar panels. Normally, the front contact material is a metal oxide and the optimal cell configuration and panel efficiency were determined for various band gap materials, representing Cu(In,Ga)Se2
(CIGS), CdTe and high band gap perovskites. Supplementing the metal oxide with a metallic copper grid improves the performance of the front contact and aims to increase the efficiency. Various front contact designs with and without a metallic finger grid were calculated with a variation of the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) sheet resistance, scribing area, cell length, and finger dimensions. In addition, the contact resistance and illumination power were also assessed and the optimal thin film solar panel design was determined. Adding a metallic finger grid on a TCO gives a higher solar cell efficiency and this also enables longer cell lengths. However, contact resistance between the metal and the TCO material can reduce the efficiency benefit somewhat.
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