S-Shaped Current–Voltage Characteristics in Solar Cells: A Review

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Abstract

S-shaped current–voltage ( I – V ) characteristics are a frequently occurring hurdle in the development of new solar cell material combinations and device architectures. Their presence points to the existence of a charge transport bottleneck that needs to be removed in order to unlock high fill factors and power conversion efficiencies. In this review, examples of studies in which s-shaped I – V curves have appeared are presented, and the cause and mitigation are discussed. Different solar cell material systems are often treated by separate communities, thereby, also the physics of s-shaped I – V curves have been treated separately. This review covers the main solar cell technologies—silicon, thin film, organic, hybrid—with the aim to provide an overarching picture of the common mechanisms and universal guidelines for mitigation of s-shaped I – V characteristics in emerging solar cell technologies. Except for a few studies on organic solar cells, s-shaped I – V curves are reported to result from charge transport barriers at one of the (selective) contact layers that can be overcome by interface engineering and doping.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8788619
Pages (from-to)1477 - 1484
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE journal of photovoltaics
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Boron-oxygen defect
  • Current measurement
  • Czochralski-grown silicon
  • Electroluminescence
  • Kinetic theory
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Silicon
  • Temperature measurement
  • Voltage measurement
  • carrier injection
  • electroluminescence (EL)
  • light-induced degradation (LID)
  • passivated emitter and rear cells (PERCs)
  • regeneration
  • roll over
  • Current-voltage characteristics
  • s-shape

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