In this thesis, the methods of aluminum electroplating in an ionic liquid for silicon solar cell front side metallization were studied. It focused on replacing the current silver screen printing with an alternative metallization technology using a low-cost Earth-abundant metal for mass production, due to the high cost and limited availability of silver. A conventional aluminum electroplating method was employed for silicon solar cells fabrication on both p-type and n-type substrates. The highest efficiency of 17.9% was achieved in the n-type solar cell with a rear junction, which is comparable to that of the same structure cell with screen printed silver electrodes from industrial production lines. It also showed better spiking resistant performance than the common structure p-type solar cell. Further efforts were put on the development of a novel light-induced plating of aluminum technique. The aluminum was deposited directly on a silicon substrate without the assistance of a conductive seed layer, thus simplified and reduced the process cost. The plated aluminum has good adhesion to the silicon surface with the resistivity as low as 4×10–6 -cm. A new demo tool was designed and set up for the light-induced plating experiment, aiming to utilize this technique in large-size solar cells fabrication and mass production. Besides the metallization methods, a comprehensive sensitivity analysis for the efficiency dispersion in the production of crystalline-Si solar cells was presented based on numerical simulations. Temperature variation in the diffusion furnace was the most significant cause of the efficiency dispersion. It was concluded that a narrow efficiency range of ±0.5% absolute is achievable if the emitter diffusion temperature is confined to a 13˚C window, while other cell parameters vary within their normal windows. Possible methods to minimize temperature variation in emitter diffusion were proposed.
- Development of New Front Side Metallization Method of Aluminum Electroplating for Silicon Solar Cell
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