A novel method for characterizing a single crystalline or poly-silicon solar photovoltaic (SPV) cell is proposed. The extraction of the parameters of an SPV cell is hindered by the presence of its leakage resistance. It is demonstrated here that in employing a negative resistance, not only the C-V characteristics but also the R-V characteristics along with the built-in potential and the doping concentration of an SPV cell are easily ascertained. The experimental results presented herein validate the proffered method. © 2006 IEEE.