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Heterojunction silicon solar cell with copper..

Posted: 30 Nov 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cells  copper  silicon  silver screen printing 

Kaneka and Imec have jointly showcased silver-free heterojunction silicon solar cells during the 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, in Japan. The results were obtained by applying copper electroplating technology, developed by Kaneka based on Imec's existing copper electroplating technology.

"A conversion efficiency of more than 21 per cent was achieved in 6-inch silicon substrates with an electroplated copper contact grid on top of the transparent conductive oxide layer."

Today, silver screen printing is the technology of choice for the realisation of the top grid electrode in heterojunction silicon solar cells. The difficulty of lowering resistivity and thinning the metal line in silver screen printing prevents from achieving high efficiency and low cost."In the presented silver-free approach, the screen-printed silver is replaced by electroplated copper. Formation of top grid electrode with copper-electroplating in hetero-junction silicon solar cells is the world first result," the companies said.

Copper-electroplating is an economical and industry-proven process. This solution not only overcomes the disadvantages of the silver screen printing, but provides advantages such as enabling higher efficiencies and reducing fabrication costs.

These results showing beyond 21 per cent conversion efficiency in heterojunction silicon solar cells based on Imec's copper electroplating know how were obtained in a bilateral collaboration between Kaneka Corporation and Imec in Belgium. "The collaboration between Kaneka and imec comprises the improvement of Kaneka's thin-film solar cells and the development of next-generation heterojunction cells."

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