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The effect of germanium fraction on the effective minority carrier lifetime for epitaxial Si Ge layers is extracted using measurements on amorphous(a) Si(n+)/crystalline(c)-Si Ge (p)/crystalline(c)-Si(p+) heterojunction solar cells with x = 0.25, 0.41 and 0.56. The τ extracted for Si Ge is ∼1 μs, decreasing to ∼ 40 ns for Si Ge . In addition, the band-gap voltage offset (W) increases from 0.5 eV for Si to 0.65 eV for 56% Ge indicating an increase in non-radiative recombination consistent with the reduction in effective lifetime.


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