A formalism is presented to understand the effect of distributed resistance of the window layer on the current–voltage characteristics of solar cells with parallel grids. Along the window/active-layer interface, the current density and the electric potential are calculated iteratively from the current density–voltage relation and the Laplace equation, respectively. The former property is approximated in a series expansion of sinusoidal functions, which leads to an analytic solution to the electric potential in the window layer. The total current and the average current density are derived in analytic forms. A few calculated results are presented to show the influence of the distributed resistance of the window layer on the device performance. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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