Techno-Economic Analysis of the Use of Atomic Layer Deposited Transition Metal Oxides in Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Special Issue: Passivating Contacts Based Silicon Solar Cells

Nathan Chang, Geedhika Poduval, Borong Sang, Kean Khoo, Michael Woodhouse, Fred Qi, Mohammad Dehghanimadvar, Wei Li, Renate Egan, Bram Hoex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The industry for producing silicon solar cells and modules has grown remarkably over the past decades, with more than a 100-fold reduction in price over the past 45 years. The main solar cell fabrication technology has shifted over that time and is currently dominated by the passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC). Other technologies are expected to increase in market share, including tunnel-oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) and heterojunction technology (HJT). In this paper, we examine the cost potential for using atomic layer deposition (ALD) to form transition metal oxide (TMO) layers ((Formula presented.), (Formula presented.) and aluminium-doped zinc oxide [AZO]) to use as lower cost alternatives of the p-doped, n-doped and indium tin oxide (ITO) layers, respectively, the layers normally used in HJT solar cells. Using a bottom-up cost and uncertainty model with equipment cost data and process experience in the lab, we find that the production cost of these variations will likely be lower per wafer than standard HJT, with the main cost drivers being the cost of the ALD precursors at high-volume production. We then considered what efficiency is required for these sequences to be cost effective in $/W and discuss whether these targets are technically feasible. This work motivates further work in developing these ALD TMO processes to increase their efficiency towards their theoretical limits to take advantage of the processing cost advantage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)414-428
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-7A40-80941

Keywords

  • atomic layer deposition
  • passivating contact solar cell
  • techno-economic analysis
  • transition metal oxide

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