Current voltage characteristics have been obtained under dark and illuminated conditions for Al-SiO2-pSi metal-insulator semiconductor inversion layer solar cells. The cells were fabricated on ~ and ~ oriented substrates with resistivities in the range of 8–15 Omega cm. For ~ cells the open circuit voltages Voc were found to be lower than for ~ cells. The measured differences in Voc were higher than expected from the dark characteristics which is explained as a difference in the surface recombination current due to a higher interface state density Nss of ~ cells. Journal of Applied Physics is copyrighted by The American Institute of Physics.