Thursday, September 14, 2017

Simplified fabrication process for high-efficiency solar cells

A team of EPFL and CSEM researchers in Neuch√Ętel presents in Nature Energy a new astonishing method of creating crystalline solar cells with electrical contacts at the rear, suppressing all shadowing at the front. Thanks to the new inexpensive approach, the fabrication process is strongly simplified with efficiencies in the laboratory already surpassing 23%.

In the quest for more efficient crystalline silicon solar cells with low manufacturing costs, one of the most promising approach is to bring all electrical contacts at the back of the device. This suppresses all shadowing at the front, increasing the current and the efficiency. This approach generally requires several delicate processing steps, because well-defined narrow negative and positive contact lines need to be created, which will then collect the electrons (negative charges) and holes (positive charges). This requires usually several steps of masking of photolithography to create the alternated positive (+) and negative (-) areas.

 
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