Geometrical analysis of solar cells with partial rear contacts

Andres Cuevas*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The analysis of solar cells where the posterior metal contact is formed only on part of the rear surface, which is mostly covered by a nonconductive, passivating layer, is both important and complex. A possible approach, based on a geometrical representation of the device structure, is examined here. As minority carriers flow toward the localized rear contact, they crowd inside a diminishing cross-sectional area, resulting in a high current density. The latter demands a strong gradient in their concentration, which leads to an increase of the open-circuit voltage V oc. Similarly, the crowding of majority carriers requires a strong gradient of the electrostatic potential, which leads to an increased series resistance R s. These effects of carrier crowding are described here with simple mathematical expressions that permit an approximate evaluation of V oc and R s for partial rear contact solar cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6246670
    Pages (from-to)485-493
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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