Physics and Statistics of Non-Ohmic Shunt Conduction and Metastability in Amorphous Silicon p-i-n Solar Cells

Sourabh Dongaonkar, Purdue University - Main Campus
karthik Yogendra, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay
Souvik Mahapatra, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay
Muhammad A. Alam, Purdue University

Date of this Version



IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics ( Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Oct. 2011 )


In this paper, we present a physical model of the non- Ohmic shunt current ISH in amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) p–i–n solar cells and validate it with detailed measurements. This model is based on space-charge-limited (SCL) transport through localized p–i–p shunt paths. These paths can arise from n-contact metal incorporation in the a-Si:H layer, causing the (n)a-Si:H to be counterdoped to p-type. The model not only explains all the electrical characteristics of preexisting shunts but also provides insight into the metastable switching that is observed in the shunt-dominated region of dark current as well.We first verify the SCL model using simulations and statistically robust measurements, and then use it to analyze our systematic observations of nonvolatile switching of the low-bias dark characteristics. This study interprets broad experimental observations regarding shunt behavior, and suggests possible techniques for alleviating shunt-induced performance and reliability issues.


Electronic Devices and Semiconductor Manufacturing