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Imec 'IBC' Si solar cells exceed 23% efficiency

Posted: 05 Dec 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon solar cells 

Imec, along with its silicon photovoltaic partners Schott Solar, Total, Photovoltech, GDF-SUEZ, Solland Solar, Kaneka, and Dow Corning, has demonstrated a conversion efficiency of 23.3 per cent on interdigitated back-contact (IBC) silicon solar cells.

According to Imec, interdigitated back contacts are introduced to increase the conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells and allow for further reduction of the cell thickness, simplification of module fabrication and improved aesthetics of the final solar cell modules.

Imec also said that it has developed a high-efficiency baseline process for small-area IBC cells within its multi-partner silicon solar cells industrial affiliation programmes that aims at increasing the efficiency well above 20 per cent and decreasing the cost of silicon solar cells beyond the current state-of-the-art.

Key aspects of the newly developed small-area (2x2 cm2) IBC Si solar cells are the n-type base float-zone (FZ) silicon substrates, a random pyramid texture, a boron diffused emitter, phosphorous diffused front- and back surface fields, a thermally grown silicon dioxide for surface passivation, a SiN single layer anti-reflective coating, lithography based patterning and Aluminium metallisation. The realised IBC cells achieve a designated area conversion efficiency of 23.3 per cent (Jsc = 41.6 mA, Voc=696 mV, FF=80.4 per cent), certified by ISE-Callabs.

Jef Poortmans, director, Imec's photovoltaic R&D programme, "We are delighted to demonstrate these excellent efficiency results on IBC silicon solar cells. Such high efficiencies on small-area IBC silicon solar cells are a perfect base for further developing a large-area and industrially feasible IBC cell technology at Imec."

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