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Characterization of Transition Metal Oxide/Silicon Heterojunctions for Solar Cell Applications

Electronic Engineering Department, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona 08034, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Department of Applied Physics, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad 826004, India
Academic Editor: Alejandro Pérez-Rodríguez
Appl. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 695-705; https://doi.org/10.3390/app5040695
Received: 15 September 2015 / Accepted: 1 October 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
During the last decade, transition metal oxides have been actively investigated as hole- and electron-selective materials in organic electronics due to their low-cost processing. In this study, four transition metal oxides (V2O5, MoO3, WO3, and ReO3) with high work functions (>5 eV) were thermally evaporated as front p-type contacts in planar n-type crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. The concentration of oxygen vacancies in MoO3−x was found to be dependent on film thickness and redox conditions, as determined by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Transfer length method measurements of oxide films deposited on glass yielded high sheet resistances (~109 Ω/sq), although lower values (~104 Ω/sq) were measured for oxides deposited on silicon, indicating the presence of an inversion (hole rich) layer. Of the four oxide/silicon solar cells, ReO3 was found to be unstable upon air exposure, while V2O5 achieved the highest open-circuit voltage (593 mV) and conversion efficiency (12.7%), followed by MoO3 (581 mV, 12.6%) and WO3 (570 mV, 11.8%). A short-circuit current gain of ~0.5 mA/cm2 was obtained when compared to a reference amorphous silicon contact, as expected from a wider energy bandgap. Overall, these results support the viability of a simplified solar cell design, processed at low temperature and without dopants. View Full-Text
Keywords: transition metal oxides; silicon heterojunction solar cells; vanadium oxide; molybdenum oxide; tungsten oxide; rhenium oxide transition metal oxides; silicon heterojunction solar cells; vanadium oxide; molybdenum oxide; tungsten oxide; rhenium oxide
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Gerling, L.G.; Mahato, S.; Voz, C.; Alcubilla, R.; Puigdollers, J. Characterization of Transition Metal Oxide/Silicon Heterojunctions for Solar Cell Applications. Appl. Sci. 2015, 5, 695-705.

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