Effect of electron damage on silicon solar cells coated with diamond-like carbon films

Joseph Appelbaum, Nathan Croitoru, Lev Klibanov, David Scheinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unique properties of the diamond-like carbon (a:DLC), such as high mechanical hardness and abrasive resistance, optical transparency in the visible and IR spectral regions and high thermal conductivity, provide this material with advantages over other types of protecting materials for solar cells. Furthermore, the a:DLC films are inert to corrosive gases and other corrosive agents. Resistance to radiation damage of the a:DLC films deposited on solar cells is very important for space application. In the study we investigate the effect of electron damage on silicon solar cells coated with a:DLC films. We measure the I-V characteristic and the spectral response and calculate the values of the seven parameters of the double exponential solar cell model (usually not investigated) as a function of electron fluence irradiation. In addition we obtain also the usual external parameters Isc, Voc, Im, Vm, FF, and efficiency) of the solar cells. We investigate solar cells with and without anti-reflecting coating coated with a:DLC films which were exposed to electron radiation. The main findings show that the solar cells with a:DLC films of thickness up to 500 nm degrade similarly to regular silicon cells exposed to electron irradiation. The degradation of the spectral response of the solar cell is mainly in the range of longer wavelengths and the irradiation affects the solar cell parameters (mainly the reverse saturation currents).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000


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