Journal article Open Access
a-Si/c-Si heterojunction solar cells exhibit several distinctive dark and light I-V non-ideal features. The dark I-V of these cells exhibits unusually high ideality factors at low forward bias and the occurrence of a 'knee' at medium forward bias. Nonidealities under illumination, such as the failure of superposition and the occurrence of an 'S-type' curve, are also reported in these cells. However, the origin of these non-idealities and how the dark I-V non-idealities manifest themselves under illumination, as well as vice versa, have not been clearly and consistently explained in the current literature. In this study, a numerical framework is used to interpret the origin of the dark I-V non-idealities and a novel simulation technique is developed to separate the photocurrent and the contact injection current components of the light I-V. Using this technique, the voltage dependence of photo-current is studied to explain the failure of the superposition principle and the origin of the S-type light I-V characteristics. The analysis provides a number of insights into the correlations between the dark I-V and the light I-V. Finally, using the experimental results from this study and from the current literature, it is shown that these non-ideal effects indeed affect the dark I-V and the light I-V in a predictable manner.