Crystalline silicon thin film solar cells, based on the epitaxial wafer equivalent, require a reflecting interlayer between substrate and active layers to increase the generated current and reach similar efficiencies as wafer based solar cells. With the epitaxial lateral overgrowth technique, a reflecting dielectric layer can be implemented. In this paper results of solar cells with overgrown, patterned SiO2 films are shown. A beneficial optical effect due to the interlayer and also a reduced effective diffusion length within the epitaxially grown silicon layer are observed. Cells with reflecting interlayer and non-optimized absorber layer thicknesses therefore exhibit lower efficiencies than cells without SiO2. Slightly higher currents are observed with textured front sides. Significantly increased effective diffusion lengths and cell performances can be reached with non-merged active silicon layers. Reasons might be the avoidance of defects generated at merging points and of unpassivated surface areas in voids remaining where two growth fronts merge.
Drießen, M., Janz, S., & Reber, S. (2012). Epitaxial wafer equivalent solar cells with overgrown SiO2 reflector. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 27, pp. 38–44). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2012.07.026