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Copper deposition on screen printed electrical paths for solar cell application

Copper deposition on screen printed electrical paths for solar cell application Purpose – The aim of this paper is to present results of investigations carried out on the front electrode of solar cells. Nowadays, most worldwide solar cell production is dominated by monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon as a base material. In such cells, the electrical carriers are collected by the system of metallic paths fabricated on a silicon surface. One possible way to increase cell efficiency and reduce the production costs of solar modules is to replace the expensive silver by cheaper copper in front metallic electrodes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents results of investigations performed on the front electrode of the solar cell. The investigations were focused on the modification of typical screen printing fabrication of the thin electrical finger paths of the front solar cell electrode. The resulting contacts were characterized morphologically (the dimensions and geometry of the front contacts) by scanning electron microscopy. The composition of finger path covered with copper was analyzed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy techniques. Findings – In this work, the front electrodes were screen printed with the use of conventional silver-paste on a p-type Cz–Si-textured wafer with a n+ emitter and with an antireflection coating. After that, the fired front electrode was electroless coated with copper. The electroless copper deposition was performed in two stages. First, the surface of the photovoltaic cell was dipped in an aqueous solution of CuSO 4 and then dried in air at room temperature. When the surface dried, the cell was immersed in hydrogen fluoride solution (5 per cent) for 1 s followed by rinsing in deionization water. Originality/value – The experiments confirmed the potential application of copper as an additional layer of the solar cell front metal electrode. On the one hand, this process is very simple and, on the other, the authors demonstrate a problem with the mechanical stability of the covered paths leading to electrode delamination. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Circuit World Emerald Publishing

Copper deposition on screen printed electrical paths for solar cell application

Circuit World , Volume 41 (3): 4 – Aug 3, 2015

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References (9)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0305-6120
DOI
10.1108/CW-04-2015-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to present results of investigations carried out on the front electrode of solar cells. Nowadays, most worldwide solar cell production is dominated by monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon as a base material. In such cells, the electrical carriers are collected by the system of metallic paths fabricated on a silicon surface. One possible way to increase cell efficiency and reduce the production costs of solar modules is to replace the expensive silver by cheaper copper in front metallic electrodes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents results of investigations performed on the front electrode of the solar cell. The investigations were focused on the modification of typical screen printing fabrication of the thin electrical finger paths of the front solar cell electrode. The resulting contacts were characterized morphologically (the dimensions and geometry of the front contacts) by scanning electron microscopy. The composition of finger path covered with copper was analyzed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy techniques. Findings – In this work, the front electrodes were screen printed with the use of conventional silver-paste on a p-type Cz–Si-textured wafer with a n+ emitter and with an antireflection coating. After that, the fired front electrode was electroless coated with copper. The electroless copper deposition was performed in two stages. First, the surface of the photovoltaic cell was dipped in an aqueous solution of CuSO 4 and then dried in air at room temperature. When the surface dried, the cell was immersed in hydrogen fluoride solution (5 per cent) for 1 s followed by rinsing in deionization water. Originality/value – The experiments confirmed the potential application of copper as an additional layer of the solar cell front metal electrode. On the one hand, this process is very simple and, on the other, the authors demonstrate a problem with the mechanical stability of the covered paths leading to electrode delamination.

Journal

Circuit WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2015

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