Description: We developed a self-aligned emitter etchback technique that requires only a single emitter diffusion and no alignments to form self-aligned, patterned-emitter profiles. Standard commercial, screen-printed gridlines mask a plasma-etchback of the emitter. A subsequent PECVD-nitride deposition provides good surface and bulk passivation and an antireflection coating. We succeeded in finding a set of parameters which resulted in good emitter uniformity and improved cell performance. We used full-size multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) cells processed in a commercial production line and performed a statistically designed, multiparameter experiment to optimize the use of a hydrogenation treatment to increase performance. Our initial results found a statistically significant improvement of half an absolute percentage point in cell efficiency when the self-aligned emitter etchback was combined with a 3-step PECVD-nitride surface passivation and hydrogenation treatment. 12 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Ruby, D.S.; Yang, P. & Roy, M.
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