Drift-diffusion modeling for impurity photovoltaic devices

Albert Lin*, Jamie D. Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A 1-D drift-diffusion modeling for impurity photovoltaics is presented. The model is based on the self-consistent solution of Poisson's equation and carrier continuity equations incorporating generation and recombination mechanisms including the intermediate states. The model is applied to a prototypical solar cell device, where strong space charge effects and reduced conversion efficiency are identified for the case of lightly doped absorption regions. A doping compensation scheme is proposed to mitigate the space charge effects, with optimal doping corresponding to one-half the concentration of the intermediate states. The compensated doping device design provides calculated conversion efficiencies of approximately 40%, which is similar to the maximum expected values from prior 0-D models. The carrier transport between intermediate levels is shown to be noncritical for achieving the efficiency limit predicted by 0-D models. The qualitative behavior of the model is compared to existing experimental data on quantum dot solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5306157
Pages (from-to)3168-3174
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Drift-diffusion model
  • Intermediate levels (ILs)
  • Semiconductor
  • Solar cell

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