Anomalous degradation of solar cells induced by carrier trapping

Karazhanov, S. Zh.
June 2001
Applied Physics Letters;6/11/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 24, p3836
Academic Journal
A mechanism for the effect of anomalous increase of carrier lifetime and the phenomenon of anomalous degradation of solar cells has been proposed. Distinct from previously known mechanisms, based on carrier recombination, the mechanism is based on carrier trapping. It is shown that the increase of carrier lifetime and short-circuit current with increasing trap concentration is caused by the abrupt decrease of total free carrier density due to carrier trapping. Then the Fermi level will be shifted towards the middle of the band gap and the open-circuit voltage decreases. It is shown that the anomalous increase of the short-circuit current can overcome the decrease of the open-circuit voltage, resulting in the increase of the cell efficiency. However, the efficiency improvement is not the result of carrier photoemission from the defect level, but is caused by the trap-induced increase of carrier lifetime. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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