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A novel silicon heterojunction IBC process flow using partial etching of doped a-Si:H to switch from hole contact to electron contact in situ with efficiencies close to 23%

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. We present a novel process sequence to simplify the rear-side patterning of the silicon heterojunction interdigitated back contact (HJ IBC) cells. In this approach, interdigitated strips of a-Si:H (i/p + ) hole contact and a-Si:H (i/n + ) electron contact are achieved by partially etching a blanket a-Si:H (i/p + ) stack through an SiO x hard mask to remove only the p + a-Si:H layer and replace it with an n + a-Si:H layer, thereby switching from a hole contact to an electron contact in situ, without having to remove the entire passivation. This eliminates the ex situ wet clean after dry etching and also prevents re-exposure of the crystalline silicon surface during rear-side processing. Using a well-controlled process, high-quality passivation is maintained throughout the rear-side process sequence leading to high open-circuit voltages (V OC ). A slightly higher contact resistance at the electron contact leads to a slightly higher fill factor (FF) loss due to series resistance for cells from the partial etch route, but the FF loss due to J 02 -type recombination is lower, compared with reference cells. As a result, the best cell from the partial etch route has an efficiency of 22.9% and a V OC of 729 mV, nearly identical to the best reference cell, demonstrating that the developed partial etch process can be successfully implemented to achieve cell performance comparable with reference, but with a simpler, cheaper, and faster process sequence.
Journal: Progress in Photovoltaics
ISSN: 1062-7995
Issue: 11
Volume: 27
Pages: 959 - 970
Number of pages: 12
Publication year:2019
Keywords:Energy & fuels, Materials science, Applied physics