Title:
Processes For Producing Low Cost, High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells

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Processes which utilize rapid thermal processing (RTP) are provided for inexpensively producing high efficiency silicon solar cells. The RTP processes preserve minority carrier bulk lifetime τ and permit selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions, including emitter and back surface field (bsf), within the silicon substrate. In a first RTP process, an RTP step is utilized to simultaneously diffuse phosphorus and aluminum into the front and back surfaces, respectively, of a silicon substrate. Moreover, an in situ controlled cooling procedure preserves the carrier bulk lifetime τ and permits selective adjustment of the depth of the diffused regions. In a second RTP process, both simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum as well as annealing of the front and back contacts are accomplished during the RTP step. In a third RTP process, the RTP step accomplishes simultaneous diffusion of the phosphorus and aluminum, annealing of the contacts, and annealing of a double-layer antireflection/passivation coating SiN/SiOx. In a fourth RTP process, the process of applying front and back contacts is broken up into two separate respective steps, which enhances the efficiency of the cells, at a slight time expense. In a fifth RTP process, a second RTP step is utilized to fire and adhere the screen printed or evaporated contacts to the structure.
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6/16/1998
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