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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 159584, 9 pages
Research Article

Influence of Different Types of Recombination Active Defects on the Integral Electrical Properties of Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

Fraunhofer-Center für Silizium Photovoltaik CSP, Otto-Eißfeld-Straße 12, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany

Received 17 October 2014; Revised 29 January 2015; Accepted 9 February 2015

Academic Editor: Haricharan S. Reehal

Copyright © 2015 Dominik Lausch and Christian Hagendorf. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this contribution the influence of different types of recombination-active defects on the integral electrical properties of multicrystalline Si solar cells is investigated. Based on a previous classification scheme related to the luminescence behavior of crystal defects, Type-A and Type-B defects are locally distinguished. It is shown that Type-A defects, correlated to iron contaminations, are dominating the efficiency by more than 20% relative through their impact on the short circuit current ISC and open circuit voltage VOC in standard Si material (only limited by recombination active crystal defects). Contrarily, Type-B defects show low influence on the efficiency of 3% relative. The impact of the detrimental Type-A defects on the electrical parameters is studied as a function of the block height. A clear correlation between the area fraction of Type-A defects and both the global Isc and the prebreakdown behavior (reverse current) in voltage regime-2 (−11 V) is observed. An outlier having an increased full-area recombination activity is traced back to dense inter- and intragrain nucleation of Fe precipitates. Based on these results it is concluded that Type-A defects are the most detrimental defects in Si solar cells (having efficiencies > 15%) and have to be prevented by optimized Si material quality and solar cell process conditions.