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Optimizing CdTe Solar Cell Performance: Impact of Variations in Minority-Carrier Lifetime and Carrier Density Profile

Optimizing CdTe Solar Cell Performance: Impact of Variations in Minority-Carrier Lifetime and Carrier Density Profile,10.1109/JPHOTOV.2011.2164952,IEE

Optimizing CdTe Solar Cell Performance: Impact of Variations in Minority-Carrier Lifetime and Carrier Density Profile  
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Using numerical simulations, we study the combined effects of nonuniform minority-carrier lifetime τ and carrier den- sity NA on device performance. In a uniformly doped device, max- imum open-circuit voltage V oc is obtained for high τ and high NA . The fill-factor (FF) is mainly dependent on the lifetime. When the lifetime is low, and NA is high, the FF suffers losses due to voltage- dependant carrier collection. For a low carrier density and low lifetime, the electric field strength is low, recombination is a com- petitive process to drift, and the FF is reduced. Simulations predict that it might be possible to increase the device efficiency with lower carrier density, if the back of the absorber is highly doped. This configuration increases the built-in potential and the electric field close to the junction region, while keeping the space-charge re- gion wide. In addition, a device with such a profile is very tolerant toward lifetime variations of the highly doped layer. With our sim- ulation parameters, when the absorber properties are uniform, efficiencies >18% require experimentally unrealistic doping and lifetime values. If the back of the absorber is doped significantly higher than the rest, such efficiencies can be achieved with realistic values of doping and lifetime.
Journal: IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics - JPHOTOV , vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 99-103, 2011
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