Head of the Photovoltaics Department
Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), Germany

Recent advances in understanding and suppressing light-induced degradation in multi-Si solar cells

The prevalent material used in today’s world-wide solar cell production is block-cast multicrystalline silicon (multi-Si). In order to further enhance the efficiency, an increasing number of cell manufacturers are currently upgrading their cell lines from the standard Al-BSF to PERC-type processes with Al2O3/SiNx rear-surface passivation. Unfortunately, multi-Si PERC cells seem to be prone to a pronounced light-induced degradation (LID) effect under typical module operating conditions. In this contribution, we give an overview of the current state of knowledge of this phenomenon, discussing LID experiments performed by several companies and institutes on wafers, cells and modules. In addition, the current level of fundamental understanding and potential loopholes are presented.


Jan Schmidt is head of the Photovoltaics Department at Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), Germany, and professor in physics at Leibniz University Hanover. His research interests include the development of novel solar cell concepts and fabrication processes, with focus on surface passivation schemes and selective contacts, the development of novel characterization techniques for silicon materials and solar cells, and the analysis and manipulation of defects in mono- and multicrystalline silicon. He has authored and co-authored more than 130 refereed journal papers as well as 110 conference papers. He is scientific committee member for several conferences and workshops in the field of photovoltaics and editor of the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.