Plasma Texturing of Silicon Solar Cells

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Surface texture promotes enhanced light absorption in Si solar cells. The quality of lower cost multicrystalline-silicon (mc-Si) has increased to the point that its cell performance is close to that of single c-Si cells, with the major difference resulting from the inability to texture mc-Si affordably. This has reduced the cost-per-watt advantage of mc-Si. Surface texturing aimed at enhanced absorption in Si has been historically obtained by creating multimicrometer-sized pyramids using anisotropic wet etchants on single-crystalline silicon that take advantage of its single crystalline orientation. Since the surface feature sizes are several times the length of the incident solar wavelengths ... continued below

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4 p.

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Narayanan, Mohan; Roy, Madhu; Ruby, Douglas S. & Zaidi, Saleem H. July 20, 1999.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Surface texture promotes enhanced light absorption in Si solar cells. The quality of lower cost multicrystalline-silicon (mc-Si) has increased to the point that its cell performance is close to that of single c-Si cells, with the major difference resulting from the inability to texture mc-Si affordably. This has reduced the cost-per-watt advantage of mc-Si. Surface texturing aimed at enhanced absorption in Si has been historically obtained by creating multimicrometer-sized pyramids using anisotropic wet etchants on single-crystalline silicon that take advantage of its single crystalline orientation. Since the surface feature sizes are several times the length of the incident solar wavelengths involved, the optical analysis of the reflected and absorbed light can be understood using geometrical optics. Geometrical textures reduce reflection and improve absorption by double-bounce and oblique light coupling into the semiconductor. However, geometrical texturing suffers from several disadvantages that limit its effectiveness. Some of these are listed below: (a) Wet-chemical anisotropic etching used to form random pyramids on <100> crystal orientation is not effective in the texturing of low-cost multicrystalline wafers, (b) Anti-reflection films deposited on random features to reduce reflection have a resonant structure limiting their effectiveness to a narrow range of angles and wavelengths. Various forms of surface texturing have been applied to mc-Si in research, including laser-structuring, mechanical grinding, porous-Si etching, and photolithographically defined etching. However, these may be too costly to ever be used in large-scale production. A Japanese firm has reported the development of an RIE process using Cl{sub 2} gas, which textures multiple wafers per batch, making it attractive for mass-production [1]. Using this process, they have produced a 17.1% efficient 225-cm{sup 2} mc-Si cell, which is the highest efficiency mc-Si cell of its size ever reported. This proves that RIE texturing does not cause performance-limiting damage to Si cells. In this paper, we will discuss an RIE texturing process that avoids the use of toxic and corrosive Cl{sub 2} gas.

Physical Description

4 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00009610

Medium: P; Size: 4 pages

Source

  • 9th Workshop on Crystalline-Silicon Solar Cell Materials and Processes, Breckenridge, CO (US), 08/09/1999--08/11/1999

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  • Report No.: SAND99-1893C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 9610
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc793326

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  • July 20, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 8:06 p.m.

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Narayanan, Mohan; Roy, Madhu; Ruby, Douglas S. & Zaidi, Saleem H. Plasma Texturing of Silicon Solar Cells, article, July 20, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc793326/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.