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Large Area Solar Cells With 18.4% Conversion Efficiency, Featuring Cu-plated Contacts

Date:
September 22, 2009
Source:
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)
Summary:
Researchers in Europe are presenting a large-area solar with a conversion efficiency of 18.4%. Compared to the standard i-PERC cell process, the new solar cell features a shallow emitter and advanced front metallization using copper plating. The results were obtained on large-area cells, proving the industrial viability of the process.

IMEC's i-PERC cell with shallow emitter and Cu metallization.
Credit: Image courtesy of Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)

At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (Hamburg, Germany), IMEC presents a large-area solar with a conversion efficiency of 18.4%. Compared to the standard i-PERC cell process, IMEC’s solar cell features a shallow emitter and advanced front metallization using copper plating.

The results were obtained on large-area cells (125 cm2), proving the industrial viability of the process.

The shallow emitter results in an enhanced blue response, and thus in a higher conversion efficiency than with a standard emitter. For the front contacts, a novel metallization stack is added which is applied to local openings in the antireflective coating.

Dr. Joachim John, team manager at IMEC: “Using copper instead of silver adds to the sustainability of solar cell production. IMEC was able to do this because it has extensive experience with copper plating on silicon.”

A similar efficiency result was obtained with screen printed contacts, but the long-term sustainability and low-cost potential of Cu-based contacting solutions and the fact that this was a first result obtained without dedicated fine-tuning makes this result particularly encouraging. ”

Dr. Jef Poortmans, IMEC’s Photovoltaics Program Director, states: “These cells and the new metallization stack involved are a further successful step in IMEC’s target to develop ever more cost-effective, efficient crystalline Si solar cells – eventually targeting cells that are only 40m thick with efficiencies above 20%."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Large Area Solar Cells With 18.4% Conversion Efficiency, Featuring Cu-plated Contacts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921092045.htm>.
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). (2009, September 22). Large Area Solar Cells With 18.4% Conversion Efficiency, Featuring Cu-plated Contacts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921092045.htm
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Large Area Solar Cells With 18.4% Conversion Efficiency, Featuring Cu-plated Contacts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921092045.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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