A general review of film growth with various mechanisms is given. Additives and their potential effects on film properties are also discussed. Experimental light-induced aluminum (Al) plating tool design is discussed. Light-induced electroplating of Al as the front electrode on the n-type emitter of silicon (Si) solar cells is proposed as a substitute for screen-printed Silver (Ag). The advantages and disadvantages of Al over copper (Cu) as a suitable Ag replacement are examined. Optimization of the power given to a green laser for silicon nitride (SiNx) anitreflection coating patterning is performed. Laser damage and contamination removal conditions on post-patterned cell surfaces are identified. Plating and post-annealing temperature effects on Al morphology and film resistivity are explored. Morphology and resistivity improvement of the Al film are also investigated through several plating additives. The lowest resistivity of 3.1 µΩ-cm is given by nicotinic acid. Laser induced damage to the cell emitter experimentally limits the contact resistivity between light-induced Al and Si to approximately 69 mΩ-cm2. Phosphorus pentachloride (PCl5) is introduced into the plating bath and improved the the contact resistivity between light induced Al and Si to a range of 0.1-1 mΩ-cm2. Secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) was performed on a film deposited with PCl5 and showed a phosphorus peak, indicating emitter phosphorus concentration may be the reason for the low contact resistivity between light-induced Al and Si. SEM also shows that PCl5 improves Al film density and plating throwing power. Post plating annealing performed at a temperature of 500°C allows Al to spike through the thin n-type emitter causing cell failure. Atmospheric moisture causes poor process reproducibility.
- Light-Induced Al Plating on Si for Fabrication of an Ag-Free All Al Solar Cell