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University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
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    Understanding the Role of Forming Gas on the Screen-Printed Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Front Grid
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-09) Ebong, Abasifreke ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Yelundur, Vijay ; Upadhyaya, V. ; Rounsaville, Brian ; Upadhyaya, A. D. ; Tate, K. ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    In this paper we report on the role of forming gas anneal on the fill factor of a small area cell and efficiency loss due to scaling the cell area. Solar cells that are under-fired and those fired at the optimum peak firing cycle showed very marginal response to forming gas anneal. Forming gas anneal is most effective for over-fired cells. The high temperature for the over-fired cells is believed to enhance Ag crystallites growth and the formation of a thick glass layer between the Ag front grid and silicon material. The forming gas anneal aids in reducing the glass to its metal, increase the conductivity of the glass and decrease the contact resistance. Solar cells with four different areas (4-cm(2), 49-cm(2), 100-cm(2) and 156-cm(2)) that were fired at the optimized peak firing temperature showed excellent fill factors without the forming gas anneal treatment. The fill factor was not a strong function of the area even though individually the n-factor and series resistance varied due to edge recombination. The efficiency and short circuit current density showed a quadratic relation with the cell area. The short circuit current density showed a difference of 3.2 mA/cm2 between the 4-cm2 and 156-cm2 cells. The short circuit current density decreased with area due to shading, diffusion length and back surface recombination velocity or Leff, front surface recombination velocity, and area loss due to edge isolation. Improved understanding of these effects coupled with grid design and process optimization can bridge the gap between the small and large area cells.
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    18% Large Area Screen-Printed Solar Cells on Textured MCZ Silicon with High Sheet Resistance Emitter
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-05) Ebong, Abasifreke ; Upadhyaya, V. ; Rounsaville, Brian ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Tate, K. ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    In this paper we report on high efficiency screen-printed 49 cm(2) solar cells fabricated on randomly textured float zone (1.2 Ω-cm) and magnetic Czochralski (MCz) silicon with resistivities of 1.2 and 4.8 Ω-cm, respectively. A simple process involving POCl3 diffused emitters, low frequency PECVD silicon nitride deposition, Al back contact print, Ag front grid print followed by co-firing of the contacts and forming gas anneal produced efficiencies of 17.6% on 1.2 Ω-cm textured float zone Si, 17.9% on 1.2 Ω-cm MCz Si and 18.0% on 4.8 Ω-cm MCz Si. A combination of high sheet resistance emitter (~95 Ω-/ ) and the surface texturing resulted in a short circuit current density of 37.8 mA/cm(2) in the 4.8 Ω-cm MCz cell, 37.0 mA/cm(2) in the 1.2 Ω-cm(2) MCz cell and 36.5 mA/cm(2) in the 1.2 Ω-cm(2) float zone cell. The open circuit voltages were consistent with the base resistivities of the two materials. The fill factors were in the range of 0.760-0.770 indicating there is considerable room for improvement. Detailed modeling and analysis is performed to explain the cell performance and provide guidelines for achieving 20% efficient screen-printed cells on MCZ Si.
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    2D-Modeling and Development of Interdigitated Back Contact Solar Cells on Low-Cost Substrates
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-05) Kim, Dong Seop ; Meemongkolkiat, Vichai ; Ebong, Abasifreke ; Rounsaville, Brian ; Upadhyaya, V. ; Das, A. ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    Two-dimensional numerical simulations were performed to derive design rules for low-cost, high-efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells on a low-cost substrate. The IBC solar cells were designed to be fabricated using either the conventional screen printing or photolithography metallization processes. Bulk lifetime, bulk resistivity, contact spacing (pitch), contact opening width, recombination in the gap between the p(+) BSF and n(+) emitter, and the ratio of emitter width to pitch have been used as key variables in the simulations. It is found that short circuit current density (J(sc)) is not only a strong function of the bulk lifetime but also the emitter coverage of the rear surface. Fill factor (FF) decreases as the emitter coverage increases because the majority carriers need to travel a longer distance through the substrate for longer emitter width. The simulated IBC results were compared with those for conventional screen printed solar cells. It was found that the IBC solar cell outperforms the screen printed (SP) solar cell when the bulk lifetime is above 50 μs due to higher V(oc) and J(sc), which suggests that higher performance can be realized on low-cost substrates with the IBC structure.
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    Investigation of Modified Screen-Printing Al Pastes For Local Back Surface Field Formation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-05) Meemongkolkiat, Vichai ; Nakayashiki, Kenta ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Kim, Steve ; Shaikh, Aziz ; Kuebelbeck, Armin ; Stockum, Werner ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    This paper reports on a low-cost screen-printing process to form a self-aligned local back surface field (LBSF) through dielectric rear surface passivation. The process involved formation of local openings through a dielectric (SiNx or stacked SiO(2)/SiN(x)) prior to full area Al screenprinting and a rapid firing. Conventional Al paste with glass frit degraded the SiN(x) surface passivation quality because of glass frit induced pinholes and etching of SiN(x) layer, and led to very thin LBSF regions. The same process with a fritless Al paste maintained the passivation quality of the SiN(x), but did not provide an acceptably thick and uniform LBSF. Al pastes containing appropriate additives gave better LBSF because of the formation of a thicker and more uniform Al-BSF region. However, they exhibited somewhat lower internal back surface reflectance (<90%) compared to conventional Al paste on SiN(x). More insight on these competing effects is provided by fabrication and analysis of complete solar cells.
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    Investigation of the Effect of Resistivity and Thickness on the Performance of Cast Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-05) Sheoran, Manav ; Upadhyaya, A. D. ; Rounsaville, Brian ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Rohatgi, Ajeet ; Narayanan, S.
    A low resistivity of 0.2-0.3 Ω.cm has been shown to be optimum for high quality single crystal silicon for solar cells. However, for lower quality cast mc-Si, this optimum resistivity increases owing to a dopant-defect interaction, which reduces the bulk lifetime at lower resistivities. In this study, solar cells fabricated on 225 μm thick cast multicrystalline silicon wafers showed very little or no enhancement in efficiency with the decrease in resistivity. However, Voc enhancement was observed for the lower resistivity cells despite significantly lower bulk lifetimes compared to higher resistivity cells. After gettering (during P diffusion) and hydrogenation (from SiNx) steps used in cell fabrication, the bulk lifetime in 225 μm thick wafers from the middle of the ingot decreased from 253 μs to 135 μs when the resistivity was lowered from 1.5 Ω.cm to 0.6 Ω.cm. This paper shows that solar cells fabricated on 175 μm thick, 1.5 Ω.cm, wafers showed no appreciable loss in the cell performance when compared to the 225 μm thick cells, consistent with PC1D modeling.
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    Understanding of the RTP-assisted Reduction of Hydrogen Dissociation from Defects in EFG Si
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004-01) Nakayashiki, Kenta ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Rohatgi, Ajeet ; Bathey, Bala R.
    This paper shows that very short, one second, firing of screen-printed Al on the back and SiN(x) anti-reflection coating on the front can significantly enhance the bulk lifetime in EFG Si through SiN(x)-induced hydrogenation of defects. This process improved average minority carrier lifetime from 3 μs to 93 μs, resulting in the open-circuit voltages as high as 613 mV. It is proposed that rapid firing at an appropriate temperature enhances the retention of hydrogen at defect sites by minimizing the hydrogen dissociation from defects. This is supported by a combination of simulations and experiments which reveal that the dissociation of hydrogen is extremely rapid at or below firing temperature of 700°C.
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    Record-High-Efficiency Solar Cells on Multicrystalline Materials Through Understanding and Implementation of RTP-Enhanced SiNx-induced Defect Hydrogenation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004-01) Rohatgi, Ajeet ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Yelundur, Vijay ; Nakayashiki, Kenta ; Upadhyaya, A. D. ; Hilali, Mohamed M. ; Meemongkolkiat, Vichai
    This paper presents results on five record-high-efficiency 4 cm(2) solar cells on three different multicrystalline silicon materials through effective hydrogen passivation of bulk defects during cell processing. Silicon ribbon solar cell efficiencies of 18.2% and 17.9% were achieved on EFG and String Ribbon Si cells fabricated with photolithography front contacts, screen-printed Al-doped back surface field, and double layer anti-reflection coating. In addition, high-efficiency, screen-printed, manufacturable cells were achieved on HEM (16.9%), EFG (16.1%), and String Ribbon (15.9%) Si. It is found that proper implementation of a fast co-firing of front and back screen-printed contacts in a belt furnace can significantly enhance the bulk lifetime to ~100 μs and simultaneously produce high quality contacts with fill factors approaching 0.78. The firing process involves fast ramp-up and cooling rates to enhance PECVD SiN(x)-induced hydrogen passivation of defects and the quality of Al back surface field.
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    String Ribbon Silicon Solar Cells with 17.8% Efficiency
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003-05) Kim, Dong Seop ; Gabor, A. M. ; Yelundur, Vijay ; Upadhyaya, A. D. ; Meemongkolkiat, Vichai ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    We have fabricated 4 cm(2) cells on String Ribbon Si wafers with efficiencies of 17.8% using a combination of laboratory and industrial processes. These are the most efficient String Ribbon devices made to date, demonstrating the high quality of the processed silicon and the future potential for industrial String Ribbon cells. Cofiring PECVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition) silicon nitride (SiN(x)) and Al was used to boost the minority carrier lifetime of bulk Si. Photolithography front contacts were used to achieve low shading losses and low contact resistance with a good blue response. The firing temperature and time were studied with respect to the trade-off between hydrogen retention and aluminum back surface field (Al-BSF) formation. Bulk defect hydrogenation and deep Al-BSF formation took place in a very short time (~1 sec) at temperatures higher than 740 degrees C.
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    Hydrogenation of Si from SiN(x):H Films: How Much Hydrogen Is Really in the Si?
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003-05) Stavola, Michael ; Jiang, Fan ; Rohatgi, Ajeet ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Holt, J. ; Atwater, H. ; Kalejs, Juris P.
    A promising method to introduce H into Si solar cells in order to passivate bulk defects is by the post-deposition annealing of an H-rich, SiN(x) surface layer. It previously has been difficult to characterize the small concentration of H that is introduced by this method. IR spectroscopy has been used together with marker impurities in the Si to determine the concentration and depth of H introduced into Si from an annealed SiN(x) film.
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    Light Induced Degradation in Promising Multi-Crystalline Silicon Materials for Solar Cell Fabrication
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003-05) Damiani, Benjamin Mark ; Nakayashiki, Kenta ; Kim, Dong Seop ; Yelundur, Vijay ; Ostapenko, Sergei ; Tarasov, Igor ; Rohatgi, Ajeet
    Light induced degradation (LID) in boron doped Czochralski (Cz) silicon with high oxygen content is known to degrade solar cell efficiency. Multicrystalline Si crystals also have oxygen and use B doping, but LID effects are largely unknown. In this paper, ribbon, Cz, and cast multi-crystalline Si crystals with a resistivity of 1-3 Ωcm were investigated for LID. 15-16% efficient EFG, String Ribbon, and cast mc-Si solar cells, fabricated by manufacturable screen printed technology, show small but measurable LID (0.2% absolute efficiency loss). In less than 15% efficient devices, LID was not detectable in ribbon Si crystals. However, >16% efficient photolithography ribbon Si degraded >0.5% absolute. Analysis of the bulk lifetime using photoluminescence mapping, after cell processing, supports the presence of LID in the good regions of the ribbon materials while the defective regions remained essentially unaffected.