Hole mobilities and the physics of amorphous silicon solar cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The effects of low hole mobilities in the intrinsic layer of pin solar cells are illustrated using general computer modeling; in these models electron mobilities are assumed to be much larger than hole values. The models reveal that a low hole mobility can be the most important photocarrier transport parameter in determining the output power of the cell, and that the effects of recombination parameters are much weaker. Recent hole drift-mobility measurements in a-Si:H are compared. While hole drift mobilities in intrinsic a-Si:H are now up to tenfold larger than two decades ago, even with recent materials a-Si:H cells are low-mobility cells. Computer modeling of solar cells with parameters that are consistent with drift-mobility measurements give a good account for the published initial power output of cells from United Solar Ovonic Corp.; deep levels (dangling bonds) in the intrinsic layer were not included in this calculation. Light-soaking creates a sufficient density of dangling bonds to lower the power from cells below the mobility limit, but in contemporary a-Si:H solar cells degradation is not large. We discuss the speculation that light-soaking is 'self-limiting' in such cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1092
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue number9-20 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006


  • Conductivity
  • Silicon
  • Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Hole mobilities and the physics of amorphous silicon solar cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this