Mitigation of Shunt in Poly-Si/SiOx Passivated Interdigitated Back Contact Monocrystalline Si Solar Cells by Self-Aligned Etching Between Doped Fingers

Matthew Hartenstein, William Nemeth, Kejun Chen, Vincenzo LaSalvia, San Theingi, Matthew Page, Andreas Fell, David Young, Paul Stradins, Sumit Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Polycrystalline silicon on silicon oxide (poly-Si/SiOx) passivating contacts can be used for ultra-high-efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) monocrystalline silicon solar cells. We evaluate the use of intrinsic poly-Si for the region that isolates the p- and n-type fingers at the back side of IBC devices. To mitigate shunt across the isolation region between the doped p- and n-type fingers, we demonstrate self-aligned subtractive processing by etching the poly-Si in the isolation region using SF6 plasma followed by etching in a tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) solution. After removal of the poly-Si, the isolation region was passivated with SiNx and Al2O3, which resulted in an 11.7% increase in the fill factor in a 19.8% efficient device. Furthermore, we evaluate the limitations of this device through Suns-Voc analysis and simulations using SunSolve and Quokka3 solar cell simulation software. Through Quokka3, we show that the most significant efficiency losses come from junction recombination current (J02) in the isolation region between doped fingers. We predict that the cell efficiency can be most improved with reduced J02 through better isolation of heavily doped fingers by etching the isolation region deeper into the bulk or through enhanced surface chemical passivation in this region.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 112195
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume252
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-84361

Keywords

  • IBC
  • interdigitated back contact
  • passivation
  • photovoltaic
  • poly-Si
  • PV
  • Quokka3
  • SiO2
  • SunSolve
  • tetramethylammonium hydroxide
  • TMAH

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