Electrical and photovoltaic properties of Au/(Ni, Zn)-doped PVA/n-Si structures were investigated in dark and under 250 W illumination level using forward and reverse bias current voltage (I-V) measurements at room temperature. Reverse saturation current (I-0), ideality factor (n), and zero-bias-barrier height (phi(B0)) values were found as 1.18 x 10(-8) A, 2.492 and 0.705 eV in dark (low region); 9.10 x 10(-7) A, 7.515 and 0.597 eV in dark (high region); and 1.05 x 10(-6) A, 6.053 and 0.593 eV under 250W illumination level. The forward bias semi-logarithmic I-V plot in dark was described using a two diode model, indicating two current-transport mechanisms acting in the diode. The first mechanism can be attributed to recombination of carriers between Au/(Ni, Zn) and doped PVA, and second one can be attributed to recombination in the depletion region. In addition, the energy density distribution profile of surface stares (N-ss) was extracted from the forward-bias I-V data by raking into account the voltage dependent of the effective barrier height(phi(e)), ideality factor n(V), and series resistance (R-s). (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.