Theoretical Background

  • Matevž BokaličEmail author
  • Marko Topič
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering book series (BRIEFSELECTRIC)


The theoretical background on photovoltaic (PV) device operation is reviewed. The principle of light absorption in direct and indirect semiconductors, and the use of a p–n and p–i–n devices are explained. Basic performance parameters and one-diode model parameters of solar cells are introduced and explained together with intrinsic and extrinsic loss mechanisms. Extrinsic losses originating from the spatial dimensions of the devices are systematically presented. General recombination processes are reviewed with an emphasis on radiative recombinations, which are the source of luminescence. A distinction is made between a photo- and electroluminescence image based on the type of luminescence excitation. Finally, a summary of the reciprocity relation between PV quantum efficiency and electroluminescence is given.


Photovoltaics Thin-film Operation Luminescence Reciprocity relation 


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© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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