Hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) n-layers have been used to prepare heterojunction solar cells on flat p-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafers. The nc-Si:H n-layers were deposited by radio-frequency (RF) plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and characterized using Raman spectroscopy, optical transmittance and activation energy of dark-conductivity. The nc-Si:H n-layers obtained comprise fine grained nanocrystallites embedded in amorphous matrix, which have a wider bandgap and a smaller activation energy. Heterojunction solar cells incorporated with the nc-Si n-layer were fabricated using configuration of Ag (100 nm)/1T0 (80 nm)/n-nc-Si:H (15 nm)/buffer a-Si:H/p-c-Si (300 mu m)/Al (200 nm), where a very thin intrinsic a-Si:H buffer layer was used to passivate the p-c-Si surface, followed by a hydrogen plasma treatment prior to the deposition of the thin nanocrystalline layer. The results show that heterojunction solar cells subjected to these surface treatments exhibit a remarkable increase in the efficiency, up to 14.1% on an area of 2.43 cm(2).