Date of Graduation


Document Type



Metal-semiconductor (Schottky-barrier) solar cells have lower open-circuit voltage than p-n junction solar cells. The open-circuit voltage of a Schottky-barrier solar cell can be increased by the use of an ultrathin oxide layer between the metal and the semiconductor. Fabrication and testing of MIS solar cells with steam-grown oxide layers shows that short-term degradation occurs (within six weeks) and is indicated by lowering maximum power output. Degradation occurs independent of environmental conditions. Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) depth-profiles show that degradation is due to growth of a metal-oxide layer at the metal-SiO(,2) interface. This process occurs in a few weeks; with high rate the first two weeks and then gradually reaches steady condition, with no further degradation. The metal oxide increases the series resistance of the solar cell.