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The analysis of Schottky-barrier solar cells McOuat, Ronald F.

Abstract

Several models were developed for the analysis of metal-semiconductor solar cells. The models presented are: (i) a limit model to obtain an idea of what the maximum conversion efficiency of metal-semiconductor solar cells is followed by; (ii) a model suitable for the prediction of the performance of metal/single-crystal silicon solar cells; and (iii) a general model for calculating the efficiency of solar cells fabricated from materials other than Si such as GaAs. Extensive use of numerical methods were required to arrive at solutions to the equations presented in the latter two models. The operation of the models is demonstrated using n-and p-type Si and GaAs with Au being taken as the barrier metal. Calculations are presented showing the effect on solar energy conversion efficiency of surface recombination velocity, barrier height, minority-carrier lifetime, barrier metal thickness, collecting grid configuration, and cell thickness. A comparison of practical and computed data for the Au/n-GaAs system yields good agreement. Based on the results of the calculations, it is shown that metal-semiconductor solar cells provide solar energy conversion of medium efficiency and improvements in efficiency depend on the development of high barrier-height systems.

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