University of Twente Student Theses


TCAD device simulation of novel test structures for determining the lifetime in solar cells

Aliyev, J. (2016) TCAD device simulation of novel test structures for determining the lifetime in solar cells.

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Abstract:In this work a new device test structure for determining the charge carrier lifetime in solar cells is investigated using device simulations. This structure comprises a pnp phototransistor structure, which allows to determine the recombination or (effective) lifetime at the surface or in the shallow junction of the transistor. Several separate current components can be investigated, including that component solely determined by recombination at the surface, not possible in a standard diode or solar cell. Yet, the heart of this transistor basically imitates the solar cell. Investigating the current characteristics of the given structures and calculating the lifetime gives a clear explanation of the recombination process in solar cells, which is one of the main factors influencing the efficiency of solar cells. By examining the current density values calculated and simulated with different methods, the test structure is proven to be valid for the carrier lifetime investigation. A different outcome between a cylindrical and a 2D structure is observed, which can be attributed to base current spreading. The results indicate that a less uniform current flow is obtained for a wide cylindrical structure making this structure less suitable for lifetime extraction. The re- lation between current density and effective recombination along with the calculations of the sheet resistance are also presented. This work is important for improving the solar cell efficiency.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering BSc (56953)
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