Kaneka, imec develop high-efficiency heterojunction silicon solar cells with copper electroplating

Nov 28, 2011

At the 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, held on November 28 – December 2 in Fukuoka, Japan, Kaneka and imec present silver-free heterojunction silicon solar cells. The results were obtained by applying copper electroplating technology, which was developed by Kaneka based on imec’s existing copper electroplating technology, A conversion efficiency of more than 21% was achieved in 6-inch silicon substrates with an electroplated copper contact grid on top of the transparent conductive oxide layer.

Today, silver screen printing is the technology of choice for the realization of the top grid electrode in heterojunction silicon solar cells. The difficulty of lowering resistivity and thinning the metal line in silver screen printing prevents from achieving high efficiency and low cost. In the presented silver-free approach, the screen-printed silver is replaced by electroplated copper. Formation of top grid electrode with copper-electroplating in hetero-junction silicon solar cells is the world first result. Copper-electroplating is an economical and industry-proven process. This solution not only overcomes the disadvantages of the silver screen printing, but provides advantages such as enabling higher efficiencies and reducing fabrication costs.

These results showing beyond 21% conversion efficiency in heterojunction silicon solar cells based on imec’s copper electroplating know how were obtained in a bilateral collaboration between Kaneka Corporation and imec in Leuven (Belgium). Kaneka’s Photovoltaics European Laboratory is located at the imec campus in Leuven (Belgium), giving access to imec’s state-of-the-art PV infrastructure and enabling close interaction between imec and Kaneka researchers. The collaboration between Kaneka and imec comprises the improvement of Kaneka’s thin-film and the development of next-generation heterojunction cells.

Explore further: Renesas announces SRAM using leading-edge 16 nm FinFET for automotive information systems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

11 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

15 hours ago

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

Cadillac CT6 will get streaming video mirror

16 hours ago

Cadillac said Thursday it will add high resolution streaming video to the function of a rearview mirror, so that the driver's vision and safety can be enhanced. The technology will debut on the 2016 Cadillac ...

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

16 hours ago

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.