A total area conversion efficiency of 10.2% has been achieved for a 1Ocm×1Ocm integrated-type single-junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cell submodule. It is the highest conversion efficiency ever reported for an a-Si solar cell with an area of 100cm2, including multi-junction cells. The effective area conversion efficiency is as high as 11.3%. The high efficiency is obtained by improving the quality of the i-layer and the p/i buffer layer, as well as by utilizing a highly textured, high-quality transparent electrode. The quality of the i-layer plays a dominant role in the performance of a-Si solar cells, especially in high efficiency cells. Techniques that control the properties of the high-quality a-Si films for the i-layer are described. Electric conductivity, ESR spin density and the Raman spectra of high-quality a-Si:H films are investigated as well as their thickness-dependence and substrate-dependence.
A Through-Hole Contact (THC) integrated-type submodule has been developed as a new-type a-Si solar cell module structure. Numerical simulations on the output power of the structure show that the output power can be significantly improved by the THC structure.