Journal of the Korean Physical Society, Vol. 39, No. 2, August 2001, pp.

369373 Development of High-Eciency Silicon Solar Cells for Commercialization S. H. Lee* National Research Laboratory for Silicon Photovoltaics, Corporate R&D Center, Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., Yongin 449-712 (Received 2 May 2001) High-eciency silicon solar cells have potential applications for

mobile electronics and electrical vehicles. An overview of the high-eciency crystalline silicon solar cells developed at Samsung SDI is reported. High-eciency silicon solar cells with eciencies over 20 % are too expensive to be commercialized. The National Reaearch Laboratory for Silicon Photovoltaics at Samsung SDI aims at the development of high-eciency single-crystalline silicon solar cells. Several structures with high eciencies

have been developed using a low-cost processes at Samsung SDI for commercialization. The PERC (passivated emitter, rear cell) type is a good candidate for commercialization while the PERL (passivated emitter, rear locally diused cell) type exhibits the highest conversion eciency. Conversion eciencies of 19.0 %, 20.43 %, and 20.5 % for the PESC (passivated emitter solar cell), PERC, and PERL

respectively. were con .types.

It is expected that production of single-crystal silicon modules will reach eciency of . 80 % of the total PV(photovoltaics) market was due to crystalline silicon solar cells. INTRODUCTION In 2000. A mechanical scriber and a Ni/Cu contact system have been used to fabricate low-cost PERCs suitable for mass production.rmed at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. I.

The eciency of crystalline silicon solar cells has greatly improved over the last few years. the eciency of silicon solar cells is approaching the theoretical limit of a silicon homo-junction. the production of crystalline silicon solar cells with such a high eciency is very small . With a conversion eciency of over 24 % [2]. However.22 % by 2010 [1].

The other factors for solar cells to be used as power sources for .compared to that of conventional silicon solar cells because of the complicated fabrication processes with cost-intensive process steps and because of their small areas. it is essential to produce cells with low cost and simple fabrication processes. In order to commercialize high-eciency solar cells for consumer electronics.

Although crystalline silicon solar cells were developed almost 50 years ago. but eciency was too low to access the market. the PESC cell was the .mobile electronics are conversion eciency and appearance. Several approaches have been tried to achieve these goals.

rst cell to exceed an eciency of 20% [3]. In rear point contact solar cell [4] and the PERC cell [5].kr dioxide to improve the performance of the silicon solar .co. which was done by passivating this silicon surface using silicon dioxide. the front and the rear surfaces were passivated by silicon * E-mail: euikyu@samsung.

The PERC structure is a well-known cell concept that combines a fairly simple process sequence with high eciencies. In this work. simpli .cells. Low-cost. we report the recent results achieved by our group for single-crystalline solar cells.

7 cm on a 4-inch-diameter wafer. II.ed processes for commercialization of high-eciency solar cells will be presented. FZ wafers with resistivities of 0.7 cm × 6. EXPERIMENTAL The sizes of the cells designed for high-eciency crystalline silicon solar cells were 2 cm × 2 cm and 6.5 and 2 cm were processed to fabricate PESC. PERC and .

PERC and PERL structures were fabricated using a photolithography process. Each processing sequence is described in Table 1.PERL type cells. 2 cm for the PERL and both resistivities for the PERC. We used 0. The fronts of cells were passivated using silicon dioxide which was formed .5 cm to fabricate the PESC. High-eciency silicon solar cells with PESC.

The oxide .on silicon at 1050 oC in Trans-LC and oxygen.

The PESC cell adapts a back surface .lm acted as a diusion barrier during the cell process and as an ection antire coating after the fabrication. and the PERL type cells are compared in Fig. the PERC. The schematic diagrams of the PESC. 1.

The rear surface of the PERC cell is -369 .eld by sintering aluminum at high temperature.

No. 39. August 2001 Table 1.-370-Journal of the Korean Physical Society. and PERL cells. Vol. 2. PERC. Processing sequences of the PESC. Steps for PESC Steps for PERC Steps for PERL Wafer selection Wafer selection Wafer selection Oxide growth Oxide growth Oxide growth Photolithography Photolithography Photolithography Anisotropic etching Anisotropic etching Anisotropic etching Oxide growth Oxide growth .

Oxide growth Photolithography Photolithography Photolithography P heavy diusion P heavy diusion Boron diusion P light diusion P light diusion Oxide growth Oxide growth Oxide growth Photolithography Al evaporation Photolithography(front) P heavy diusion Al alloy Photolithography(rear) P light diusion Photolithography Top contact evap. Oxide growth Top contact evap. Rear contact evap. Photolithography(front) Ag plating Ag plating Photolithography(rear) Annealing Annealing Top contact

evap. Rear contact evap. Ag plating H2 Annealing passivated by silicon dioxide, except for the metal contact which is formed by aluminum after opening the silicon dioxide. In the PERL cells, boron is diused under the rear metal contact in order to reduce the recombination rate of minority carriers at the metal-silicon interface. We developed low-cost

processes without signi

instead of expensive Ti/Pd/Ag metallization. and applying a low-cost metallization process. A mechanical scribing process replaced the costly photolithography process to pattern the rear contact structure of the PERC cells. Ni/Cu metallization was applied to the front of PERC cells.cant loss of eciency by decreasing the number of photo masks. simplifying the production process. The performances of the solar .

cells were con .

which was con .rmed independently by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The PESC cell using a 0. III.5cm FZ wafer showed an eciency of 19 %.

The resistivity is low in the PESC structure because the recombination velocity of the aluminum-sintered rear surface is high. The area of the cells used in this study was 6.7 cm2.7 × 6. The I-V characteristics of PESC cells . which is the maximum size for a 4-inch FZ wafer.rmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

The shading loss due to the front metal grid with a 65-m width was calculated to be 11.5 % while that for a grid with a 20-m .are shown in Fig. 2. A large shading loss due to the front metal grid is responsible for the low short-circuit current density of the solar cell with a large area.

width is 3.5 %. All the cells fabricated for this study had a front metal .

The PESC cell is expected to have an eciency of over 20 % when the area of the cell is decreased to 2 cm × 2 cm due to the increased short-circuit current density.nger with a 65-m width. . Silicon dioxide with a 110-nm thickness on the front surface acts as an ection antire layer in addition to a passivation layer.

PERC cells are the same as PESC cell. Except for the rear contact structure. The aluminum-sintered layer was replaced by a passivating silicon dioxide layer. Table 2 .The aluminum sintering generates a highly defective layer at the rear surface of the PESC cell.5cm substrate. This limits the open-circuit voltage to below 660 mV for PESC cells on a 0.

5 cm gives a higher eciency in a cell with a wellTable 2. 25 .5 spectrum.9 mV. The passivation by silicon dioxide increased the opencircuit voltage up to 661.shows the cell parameters of the PERC cell for various substrate resistivities. 100 mW/cm2. A resistivity higher than 0. Performances of PERC cells fabricated on dierent substrates (AM1.

9 36. Resistivity of substrate Voc (mV) Jsc (mA/cm2) FF (%) Eeff (%) 2 cm 589 38.oC.3 76. 45 cm2 cell area).9 17.4 0.3 .2 80.5 cm 661.6 19.

(b) PERC. Lee -371 Fig.5 cm forms a . the aluminum contact to a substrate with a resistivity higher than 0. and (c) PERL. H.Development of High-Eciency Silicon Solar Cells for Commercialization S. passivated surface as long as the metal contact is ohmic. However. 1. Schematic diagrams of high eciency cells: (a) PESC.

Schottky barrier and reduces the open-circuit voltage and the .

25oC.3.Current-voltagecharacteristicsofPESCcellsmeasuredattheFraunhoferInstituteforSolarEnergySystems(AM1.45.75 cm 2 cell area).100mW/cm2.100mW/cm2.25oC. row [6]. Fig.ll factor since the depletion width of a Schottky junction is narFig.96cm2cellarea). The rear . 44.Current-voltagecharacteristicsoftheSiO2-coatedPERLcellmeasuredattheFraunho ferInstituteofSolarEnergySystems(AM1.5spectrum.5cm resitivity is responsible for low open-circuit voltage in Table 2.2.5spectrum. The formation of a Schottky junction at the rear contact of the substrate with a 1.

the advantages of enhanced passivation and ectivity re of the rear structure of the PERC cell become signi .structure of the PERC cell ects re light eectively while the Al-alloyed rear contact of the PESC cell has a limitations on increased ectivity re [7]. As the thickness of the cell becomes thinner.

5cm. The spacing between contact holes needs to be longer than the diusion Table 3. p-type FZ wafers (AM1. 100 mW/cm2. The low open-circuit voltage of the higher eciency cell in a Table 2 is attributed to its non-optimized rear contact design.5 spectrum. .cant. Output parameters of PERC cells with three types of rear contact patterns on 0.

Rear pattern type Rear contact area Series resistance Jsc Voc FF Eeff fraction (%) ( ) (mA/cm2) (mV) (%) (%) Dot pattern with photolithography 0.213 37.346 39 .25 oC.98 Dashed line pattern with mechanical scriber 0.3 80.8 0. 4 cm2 cell area).125 37.2 666.9 0.7 19.42 Line pattern with mechanical scriber 2 0.5 19.8 646 79.

27 .655 71 18.

length of the minority carrier to reduce the recombination of light-generated minority carriers. Schematic diagram of the MS-PERC cell with a rear structure patterned using a mechanical scriber. 39. However. 2. Vol. the contact spacing was designed to be 250 m with a . No.-372-Journal of the Korean Physical Society. 4. August 2001 Fig.

The rear contact design was the same as . Figure 3 shows the performance of the PERL cell in which boron was heavily doped under the rear metal contact. An optimum rear contact design should improve the cell eciency up to 20 % for a cell with an area of 45 cm2 .contact window width of 30 m.

which enhances open-circuit voltage.5 % was demonstrated at . Heavy doping under the rear metal reduces the recombination velocity by blocking minority carrier diusion and the contact resistance. With 110-nm-thick SiO2 as an ection antire coating.that of the PERC cell. an eciency of 20. The sheet resistance of the layer diused with boron ranged from 10 to 20 W/2.

the . an eciency of over 21 % becomes feasible since a 3 % increase in the short-circuit current can be expected.the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems for a cell with an area of 45 cm2 . If the front metallization and the double antire ection coating are optimized. With an ection antire coating of ZnS/MgF2.

Even though the eciency of the PERL cell is higher than PERC cell. the boron diffusion process is used for rear metal contact formation to reduce recombination under the rear metal contact. respectively.ll factor and the short-circuit current density can be increased up to 80 % and 40 mA/cm2. For commercialization of high-eciency solar cells. the .

Fig. Moreover. the rear contact design can accept various opening methods other than . 5. PERC cell appears to have a more competitive structure because it can provide a high eciency of over 20 % without the boron process. Schematic diagrams of the conventional Ti/Pd/Ag contact system and the new Ni/Cu contact system for the PERC cell.

The new method for patterning the rear passivation layers of the PERC with a mechanical scriber was adapted at Samsung SDI to replace the photolithography process.the expensive photolithography process because the spacing and the feature size are larger than those of the PERL cell. The mechanical scriber has three scribing tips that enables it to scribe 3 .

wafers simultaneously. The scribing tip was made of arti .

Figure 4 shows the MS-PERC (mechanically scribed PERC) structure with the rear pattern opened by using the mechanical scriber developed at Samsung SDI. Various kinds of rear patterns can be easily scribed. The results for .cial diamond. and the minimum scribing width was 10 µ in our study. and three types of rear contact patterns were processed in this study.

the MS-PERC and the conventional PERC cell are shown in Table 3. The lower open-circuit voltage of the MS-PERC cell is attributed to homogeneous emitter diffusion which eliminated one photolighography step and one diusion step from the process for a conventional PERC with a selective . The eciency of the MS-PERC cell is comparable to that of the conventional PERC cell.

An evaporated Ti/Pd/Ag contact system is most widely used to make high-eciency silicon solar cells.5 spectrum. Output parameters of high-eciency PERC cells with Ni/Cu and Ti/Pd/Ag contact systems (AM1. the system is not cost eective due to expensive materials and vacuum techniques.emitter. 25 oC. 4 cm2 cell area). However. Ni/Cu metallizaTable 4. . 100 mW/cm2.

163 547 Vacuum evaporated Ti/Pd/Ag 37.9 0.7 662.4 0.1 664.19 0.798 20.Front metal contact Jsc (mA/cm2) Voc (mV) FF (%) Eeff (%) Rseries ( ) Rshunt (k ) Electroless plated Ni/Cu 38.805 20.13 0.153 1790 .

Lee -373 tion was applied. as shown in Fig.Development of High-Eciency Silicon Solar Cells for Commercialization S. The advantages of Ni/Cu over the standard Ti/Pd/Ag are cheap material cost and easy deposition by using a plating method. 5. The contact . to the front contact of a PERC to oer a relatively inexpensive electrical contact. H.

5 cm2 . found that NiSi was suitable for higheciency solar cell applications.. It was.3 cm2 was found to give suciently low power loss for one-sun applications [8].5 cm2)..resistivity of Ni/Si was 3.5 × 10.3 × 10. A contact resistivity less than 1 × 10. which is even lower than that of Ag/Pd/Ti/Si system (7. therefore. ..

Nickel was deposited by electroless plating to form the front contact for the PERC cells and was annealed at 400 oC for 30 min in forming gas (4 % H2 + 96 % Ar). The performances of the PERC cells with Ni/Cu contact systems were investigated and are summarized in Table . Copper was electroplated on top of the nickel contact.

which are more cost eective than vacuum evaporation. The Ni/Cu contact was found to be well suited for high-eciency solar cells and was successfully formed by using electroless plating and electroplating. IV.4. Using a high-eciency process scheme. CONCLUSION We compared the performance of high-eciency silicon solar cells developed recently at Samsung SDI. we showed that solar cells .

5 % for the PERL cell.3 % for the PERC cell without double ection antire coating and optimization of the front metallization in PERL structure. It is thought that eciencies up to 22 % can be achieved on a cell with an area of 45 cm2 . 19 % for the PESC cell and 19.could be produced with an eciency of 20.

the PERC cell appears to have a more competitive structure for commercialization of high-eciency solar cells because it can provide a high eciency over 20 % without the boron process and because it has a large enough rear contact size to adopt various cheap opening methods for the rear silicon diox ide. However. If high .with process optimization.

A mechanical scriber was used to replace the photolithography process to open the rear contact pattern of the PERC. which exhibited an eciency comparable to that of the standard . and the spacing between metal contacts has to be longer than the diffusion length of minority carrier.eciency is achieved in a PERC structure. low resistivity wafers have to be used.

PERC cell. Formation of Ni/Cu contact by plating is expected to provide cost eective metallization of high-eciency solar cells suitable for mass production without eciency loss. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was supported by the National Research Laboratory Project of Korean Ministry of . A Ni/Cu contact system was adapted to the PERC cell and showed promising output performances.

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