Heterojunction silicon based solar cells

Miro Zeman Photovoltaic Materials and Devices Laboratory, Delft University of Technology

Outline
Introduction to Si PV technologies Motivation for developing HTJ Si solar cells Achievements Challenges HET-Si project Summary

Introduction to Si PV technologies
Wafer-based crystalline silicon

½ century of manufacturing history, ~90% of 2008 market highest performance of flat-plate technologies good track record and reliability cost reduction is main overall challenge module efficiencies:
- 12 ~ 20% (now) - 18 ~ > 22% (long term)
Wim Sinke (ECN, Leader of WG 3 : Science, technology & applications of EU PV Technology Platform)

Introduction to Si PV technologies
Thin-film silicon

low-cost potential and new application possibilities application of micro-crystalline silicon efficiency enhancement is major challenge stable module efficiencies:
- 6 ~ 9% (now) - 10 ~ 15% (longer term)

Wim Sinke (ECN, Leader of WG 3 : Science, technology & applications of EU PV Technology Platform)

Introduction to Si PV technologies Most popular Si PV technologies: High performance Hybrid technology HIT solar cell Sanyo started R&D in 1990 Low-cost potential HIT: Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer http://us.pdf .com/Dynamic/customPages/docs/solarPower_HIT_Solar_Power_10-15-07.sanyo.

Solar energy → Chemical energy of electron-hole pairs Chemical energy → Electrical energy . 2.Motivation for HTJ solar cells Solar cell operating principles: Thermodynamic approach: Conversion of energy of solar radiation into electrical energy Two-step process: 1.

Solar energy → Chemical energy of electron-hole pairs absorber -qψ χe EC EF EV Χe electron affinity .Solar cell operating principles 1.

Solar cell operating principles 1. Solar energy → Chemical energy of electron-hole pairs absorber -qψ EC EFC -μeh EFV EV .

Solar cell operating principles 2. Chemical energy → Electrical energy absorber -qψ EC EFC -μeh EFV EV .

Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ EC EFC EV EFV -qVOC .Solar cell operating principles 2.

Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ p-type n-type EC EFC EV EFV -qVOC .Solar cell operating principles 2.

Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ p-type n-type EC EFC EV EFV -qVOC .Solar cell operating principles 2.

Solar cell operating principles 2. Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ χe EC E EV EFC χe χe EFV -qVOC .

Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ p-type n-type EC E EV EFC EFV -qVOC .Solar cell operating principles 2.

Chemical energy → Electrical energy Semipermeable membrane for holes absorber Semipermeable membrane for electrons -qψ p-type n-type EC E EV EFC EFV -qVOC .Solar cell operating principles 2.

Tunneling 2. Trap-assisted tunneling . Thermionic emission 3.Silicon based solar cells Real world: Homojunction N c-Si Eg1 P c-Si Eg1 Eg2 Heterojunction (band off-set) P a-Si N c-Si Eg1 EF EF 1.

Thin-layer: optimum thickness of the intrinsic a-Si:H is about 4 to 5 nm.Heterojunction Si solar cells Sanyo HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer) solar cell: • • Between p and n-type materials there is an intrinsic a-Si:H layer.sanyo.com/Dynamic/customPages/docs/solarPower_HIT_Solar_Power_10-15-07. p-doped a-Si:H intrinsic a-Si:H n-doped c-Si http://us.pdf .

729 V. Area 25% 42. Voc. oxidation passivation.HTM http://sanyo. 4 cm2 Complicated diffusion.org/MANUFACT/LABCELLS.80. 0. FF.html . 100 cm2 Formation of pn junction.828.705 V.Heterojunction Si solar cells Comparison with homojunction c-Si solar cell: UNSW PERL c-Si solar cell Sanyo HIT solar cell 23% 39.7 mAcm-2.pveducation. BSF are all completed by PECVD Less than 200 ˚C Efficiency record Jsc. 0. 0.5 mAcm-2. 0.com/news/2009/05/22-1. photomasking High temperature processes (up to 1000˚C) Manufacturing Temperature requirement http://pvcdrom.

2 (2006) 1455--1460 . et al. 2 (1994) 1219--1226 [2] Maruyama. Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. Sawada. E.Heterojunction Si solar cells Potential: High efficiency (capability of reaching efficiency up to 25%) Good stability under light [1] and thermal exposure [2] • Negligible SWE due to very thin a-Si:H layer • Favorable temperature dependence of the conversion efficiency [1] T. Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. et al.

5’ ARC 200 Junction diffusion Contacts 2’ Firing 600 Plasma 400 400 200 3’ 0. Avoiding bowing of thin wafers. possible use low quality c-Si 1000 c-Si conventional technology 30’ 0.3’ 10’ Time [min] F.Heterojunction Si solar cells Industrial benefits: 1. Roca. ENEA Time [min] Rapid Process . Route to use very thin wafers 3. Low thermal budget 2.3’ 1000 a-Si/c-Si technology Process temperature [C°] 800 Process temperature [C°] 800 Low Temperature Front/back contact TCO Firing 600 0. Suppressing lifetime degradation of minority carriers.

2 0.2 0.0 17.3 36.8 34 32 35.2 1 1 0.5 19.9 2 Jsc (mA/cm ) 39.Achievements Laboratory solar cells: FZ/CZ Area (cm ) Sanyo AIST Helmholtz centre Berlin IMT EPFL n CZ n CZ n FZ p FZ n FZ p FZ NREL p FZ n FZ 100 0.5 35.2 .5 19.6 39.6 74.1 16.3 19.9 0.9 35.1 17.8 18.5 Efficiency (%) 23.3 2 Voc (mV) 729 656 639 634 682 690 678 664 FF (%) 80 75 79 79 82 74 78.

. Tanaka. TCO p a-Si:H n c-Si metal M. 31 (1992) 3518-3522 .Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: • The maximum efficiency was 12.3% • Low Voc and FF compared to c-Si homojunction results from large interface state density. et al. Appl. “Development of New a-Si/c-Si Heterojunction Solar Cells: ACJ-HIT (Artificially Constructed Junction-Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-Layer)”. Phys.

better passivation of silicon wafers • The maximum conversion efficiency is 14.. Appl. et al. “Development of New a-Si/c-Si Heterojunction Solar Cells: ACJ-HIT (Artificially Constructed Junction-Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-Layer)”.8% • Voc is improved by 30 mV due to excellent passivation of a-Si:H • FF is improved to 0. 31 (1992) 3518-3522 . Tanaka. Phys.8 TCO p a-Si:H i a-Si:H n c-Si metal ACJ-HIT M.Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: • Thin intrinsic a-Si layer introduced.

Phys.9 mA/cm2 n c-Si n a-Si:H metal TCO p a-Si:H i a-Si:H M.. et al. Appl. • Jsc is improved by 20% to 37.1% for 1cm2 area.Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: • Application of textured substrate and back surface field (BSF). the maximum conversion efficiency increases to 18. 31 (1992) 3518-3522 . “Development of New a-Si/c-Si Heterojunction Solar Cells: ACJ-HIT (Artificially Constructed Junction-Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-Layer)”. Tanaka.

n c-Si i a-Si:H n a-Si:H TCO M. et al. Tanaka.Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: metal TCO p a-Si:H i a-Si:H • The symmetrical structure can suppress both thermal and mechanical stress. “Development of hit solar cells with more than 21% conversion efficiency and commercialization of highest performance hit modules”.3% for 100 cm2. • The maximum conversion efficiency is 21. Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. 1 (2003) 955--958 .

Improving the grid electrode 3. 93 (2009) 670--673 . et al. Reducing the absorption in the a-Si:H and TCO Y.Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: Conversion efficiency 22. “Twenty-two percent efficiency HIT solar cell”.3% has been achieved in 2008 by further optimization: 1. Improving the a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction 2. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. Tsunomura.

Achievements Sanyo HIT modules: .

Achievements Sanyo HIT Double Bifacial modules: .

com/News/SANYO-Develops-HIT-Solar-Cells-with-World-s-Highest-Energy-Conversion-Efficiency-of-23-0- .0% has been achieved in May 2009: Voc(V) Jsc(mA/cm2) FF Efficiency c-Si Thickness (µm) 0.729 39.8 23% >200 http://us.5 0.Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: Conversion efficiency 23.sanyo.

Achievements Development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: Conversion efficiency 22.8% with 98 µm thick c-Si (EU-PVSEC Hamburg 2009): Highest Voc for c-Si type solar cell.co. Voc = 0.nikkeibp.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20090923/175532/ .743V http://techon.

Achievements Production development of HIT solar cells at Sanyo: http://www.pv-tech.org/news/_a/sanyo_targets_600mw_hit_solar_cell_production_with_new_plant/ .

48 (2009) 064506 . et al. Jpn. J. Phys. Appl.Achievements National Institute of Ag ITO p a-SiO:H i a-SiO:H n c-Si i a-SiO:H n a-SiO:H ITO Al Advanced Industrial Science and Technology: • a-SiO:H i layer can suppress epitaxial growth completely • Efficiency decreases with decreasing thickness of c-Si H. Fujiwara.. “Crystalline Si Heterojunction Solar Cells with the Double Heterostructure of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon Oxide”.

Olibet. PhD thesis.2 cm2) cells without front metal contact S.Achievements Institute of Microtechnology (IMT) Neuchatel (EPFL): ITO p a-Si:H/µc-Si:H i a-Si:H n c-Si i a-Si:H n a-Si:H/µc-Si:H ITO Al or Ag • a-Si:H/uc-Si:H layers fabricated by VHF-CVD • Small area (0. 2008 .

515 (2007) 7475--7480 . et al. Thin Solid Films. “Physical aspects of a-Si:H/c-Si hetero-junction solar cells”.Schmidt.Achievements Helmholtz Center Berlin for Materials and Energy: AZO p a-Si:H n c-Si n a-Si:H Al • no intrinsic a-Si:H layer results in low Voc • reduction of optical loss due to thinner a-Si layer M.

Wang.Achievements National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL): metal ITO n a-Si:H i a-Si:H p c-Si i a-Si:H p a-Si:H metal • a-Si:H layers fabricated by HW CVD Q. et al. The 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. “Crystal Silicon Heterojunction Solar cell by Hot-Wire CVD”. . 2008.

High quality a-Si:H Resistance losses: 1.Challenges Losses in HIT solar cell: Optical losses: 1. Low absorption of TCO and a-Si 3. High conductivity TCO 2. Textured surface 2. Hydrogen termination of wafer surface 3. High aspect ratio of grid electrode Recombination losses: 1. Good ohmic contact between different layers reflection Optical losses (Jsc) absorption shading +- n c-Si a-Si:H (i/n) TCO Recombination losses (Voc) Resistance losses (FF) Grid electrode TCO a-Si:H (p/i) . cleaning 2.

Wafer cleaning Remove particles and metallic contaminants from the surface Partial passivation by H2 or HF solution to saturate dangling bonds Chemicals SC1 + SC2 (RCA Cleaning) NaOH : H2O HNO3 : HF HF : H2O HCl:HF CH3OH:HF CH3CH(OH)CH3:HF (or HI) HF:H2O2:H2O CF4/O2 (8% Mix) NF3 H2 N2 O2 Ar PVMD/DIMES results: wet dry F. ENEA .Challenges 1. Roca.

90 (2007) 013503--3 . Phys. et al.. Fujiwara. Lett.Challenges 2. Epitaxial growth at the heterojunction interface Suppression of the epitaxial growth Optimum growth temperature and rf power density H. Appl. “Impact of epitaxial growth at the heterointerface of a-Si:H/c-Si solar cell”.

“High efficiency a-Si/c-Si heterojuction solar cell”. • Thicker intrinsic a-Si:H layers lead to rapid reduction in Jsc and FF T. Vol. Controlling layer thickness Efficiency is highly related to the thickness of the intrinsic and doped layers • Jsc is sensitive to thickness of p-type a-Si:H layer. et al. IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. 2 (1994) 1219—1226 .Challenges 3. Sawada.

High-quality TCO with high carrier mobility and relatively low carrier density. Optical loss in long wavelength region is caused by the free carrier absorption of TCO. Solutions: 1. et al. “Sanyo's Challenges to the Development of High-efficiency HIT Solar Cells and the Expansion of HIT Business”. E. Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. High-quality wide gap alloys such as a-SiC:H 2.Challenges 4.Maruyama. Reducing absorption loss in a-Si and TCO Optical loss in short wavelength region is caused by the absorption of a-Si. 2 (2006) 1455--1460 .

Optimization of deposition condition 2.Challenges 5. Insufficient cleaning of c-Si surfaces before a-Si film growth Solutions: 1. “CF4/O2 dry etching of textured crystalline silicon surface in a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction for photovoltaic applications”. Clean c-Si surface with hydrogen plasma treatment M. Fabrication of an uniform a-Si layer on the textured c-Si 2. Solar energy materials and solar cells. Tucci. et al. 69 (2001) 175-185 . Surface-textured wafer surface Surface-textured substrates are used due to optical confinement effect Problems: 1.

Optimize process parameters in screen printing Y.Challenges 6. 93 (2009) 670--673 . Optimize viscosity and rheology of silver paste 2. Improvement of grid electrode Finer width (W) and no spreading area of grid electrode reduce shade losses Solutions: 1.Tsunomura. et al. “Twenty-two percent efficiency HIT solar cell”. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells.

00/00/2008 Project concept and objectives Hetorojunction concepts for high efficiency solar cells Short-term target: demonstrate the industrial feasibility of heterojunction solar cells in Europe Medium term target: demonstrate the concept of ultrahigh efficiency rear-contact cells based on a-Si/c-Si heterojunction .

00/00/2008 Project partnership HETSI partnership .

better thermal stability .0% 4.optimum a-Si :H deposition conditions and layer thickness .clean and textured c-Si surfaces .higher electrical yield 2.lower production cost . Challenges to fabricate high-efficiency HTJ Si solar cells . The efficiency record of HIT solar cells is 23. HTJ Si solar cells offer promising potential to conventional c-Si solar cells .Summary 1. HIT Si solar cells contain a-Si/c-Si heterojunction and use intrinsic a-Si:H for high-quality passivation 3.abrupt heterojunctions with low interface-defect densities .TCO .

Acknowledgements .