Advanced interface modelling of n-Si/HNO3 doped graphene solar cells to identify pathways to high efficiency

Jing Zhao, Fa-Jun Ma, Ke Ding, Hao Zhang, Jiansheng Jie, Anita Ho-Baillie, Stephen P. Bremner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In graphene/silicon solar cells, it is crucial to understand the transport mechanism of the graphene/silicon interface to further improve power conversion efficiency. Until now, the transport mechanism has been predominantly simplified as an ideal Schottky junction. However, such an ideal Schottky contact is never realised experimentally. According to literature, doped graphene shows the properties of a semiconductor, therefore, it is physically more accurate to model graphene/silicon junction as a Heterojunction. In this work, HNO3-doped graphene/silicon solar cells were fabricated with the power conversion efficiency of 9.45%. Extensive characterization and first-principles calculations were carried out to establish an advanced technology computer-aided design (TCAD) model, where p-doped graphene forms a straddling heterojunction with the n-type silicon. In comparison with the simple Schottky junction models, our TCAD model paves the way for thorough investigation on the sensitivity of solar cell performance to graphene properties like electron affinity. According to the TCAD heterojunction model, the cell performance can be improved up to 22.5% after optimizations of the antireflection coatings and the rear structure, highlighting the great potentials for fabricating high efficiency graphene/silicon solar cells and other optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Doped graphene
  • Solar cell
  • Heterojunction


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