Effect of Grain Boundaries on the Performance of Thin-Film-Based Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Modeling

  • Nikita Chhetri
  • Somenath ChatterjeeEmail author


Solar cells/photovoltaic, a renewable energy source, is appraised to be the most effective alternative to the conventional electrical energy generator. A cost-effective alternative of crystalline wafer-based solar cell is thin-film polycrystalline-based solar cell. This paper reports the numerical analysis of dependency of the solar cell parameters (i.e., efficiency, fill factor, open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current density) on grain size for thin-film-based polycrystalline silicon (Si) solar cells. A minority carrier lifetime model is proposed to do a correlation between the grains, grain boundaries and lifetime for thin-film-based polycrystalline Si solar cells in MATLAB environment. As observed, the increment in the grain size diameter results in increase in minority carrier lifetime in polycrystalline Si thin film. A non-equivalent series resistance double-diode model is used to find the dark as well as light (AM1.5) current–voltage (I-V) characteristics for thin-film-based polycrystalline Si solar cells. To optimize the effectiveness of the proposed model, a successive approximation method is used and the corresponding fitting parameters are obtained. The model is validated with the experimentally obtained results reported elsewhere. The experimentally reported solar cell parameters can be found using the proposed model described here.


efficiency fill factor grain size lifetime polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cell 



Authors sincerely acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, for financial support vide reference no. DST/TM/SERI/2k12/15(G) and 15(C) under Clean Energy Research Initiative scheme. Authors also acknowledge Mr. Debjyoti Ghosh and Mr. Omprakash Singh of Electronics and Communication Engineering Dept., Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Sikkim, for their kind support in using MATLAB.


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© ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Sikkim Manipal Institute of TechnologySikkim Manipal UniversitySikkimIndia
  2. 2.Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Sikkim Manipal Institute of TechnologySikkim Manipal UniversitySikkimIndia

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