skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Diagnostics and Process Monitoring Techniques for Solar Cell Production

Abstract

During last several years, photovoltaic (PV) energy production and consumption have grown at a very rapid rate of about 40% per year, reaching one gigawatt per year. This has spurred an urgent need for process monitoring in the commercial production of solar cells to help improve yield and reduce the cost of PV energy. In the past, the PV industry has typically used minimal process monitoring, employing techniques that were developed for the microelectronics industry. However, there is a need for developing new diagnostic techniques specifically for PV production--techniques capable of high throughput, applicable to wafers with rough or textured surfaces, and with low operating cost. This paper will review various diagnostic techniques currently used in the PV industry for process control, followed by new methods that are being developed, to be deployed in the PV industry in the near future. These techniques may be categorized into three groups: (i) measurement of physical parameters of wafers and cells, such as sawing quality, texture etching, diffusion for junction formation, antireflection coating, and metallization; (ii) measurement of electronic properties such as minority-carrier lifetime, process and material nonuniformities, and cell parameters; and (iii) other control parameters such as propensity for breakage of wafersmore » and aesthetic appearance of cells and modules.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solar Energy Program
OSTI Identifier:
1120065
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Linking Science and Technology for Global Solutions: Technical Program of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) 136th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, 25 February-1 March 2007, Orlando, Florida
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; Solar Energy - Photovoltaics

Citation Formats

Sopori, B. Diagnostics and Process Monitoring Techniques for Solar Cell Production. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Sopori, B. Diagnostics and Process Monitoring Techniques for Solar Cell Production. United States.
Sopori, B. Mon . "Diagnostics and Process Monitoring Techniques for Solar Cell Production". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1120065,
title = {Diagnostics and Process Monitoring Techniques for Solar Cell Production},
author = {Sopori, B.},
abstractNote = {During last several years, photovoltaic (PV) energy production and consumption have grown at a very rapid rate of about 40% per year, reaching one gigawatt per year. This has spurred an urgent need for process monitoring in the commercial production of solar cells to help improve yield and reduce the cost of PV energy. In the past, the PV industry has typically used minimal process monitoring, employing techniques that were developed for the microelectronics industry. However, there is a need for developing new diagnostic techniques specifically for PV production--techniques capable of high throughput, applicable to wafers with rough or textured surfaces, and with low operating cost. This paper will review various diagnostic techniques currently used in the PV industry for process control, followed by new methods that are being developed, to be deployed in the PV industry in the near future. These techniques may be categorized into three groups: (i) measurement of physical parameters of wafers and cells, such as sawing quality, texture etching, diffusion for junction formation, antireflection coating, and metallization; (ii) measurement of electronic properties such as minority-carrier lifetime, process and material nonuniformities, and cell parameters; and (iii) other control parameters such as propensity for breakage of wafers and aesthetic appearance of cells and modules.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • In this paper, the authors describe a new method that is capable of on-line monitoring of several solar cell process steps such as texturing, AR coatings, and metal contact properties. The measurement technique is rapid and specifically designed for solar cells and wafers. The system implementing this new concept is named ''PV Reflectometer.'' The idea was originally conceived several years ago and the principle of the method has been demonstrated for some simple cases. Recently, this method has been improved to be more suitable for commercial applications. For completeness, the paper first includes a brief review of the process controlmore » requirements and the common monitoring methods in solar cell production.« less
  • A new instrument is described for in-line monitoring of various process steps in silicon solar-cell fabrication.
  • Attempts at Teflon bonding have always failed due to the mismatch of thermal coefficients of expansion. With the advent of the Pilkington CMZ and CMG coverglasses where the coefficients have been exactly matched to the solar cell material, the bonding process has been developed so that the advantages and disadvantages of Teflon Bonding may be evaluated for use in the space environment. One important advantage is that Teflon lends itself to the incorporation of a device which limits the build up of electrical potential on the coverglass. Concepts for ESD protection and automated production assembly processes are given along withmore » flight test results and environmental test programs.« less
  • Invited Tutorial presented as part of AMS International Short Course Series.
  • Precision grinding processes are steadily migrating from research laboratory environments into manufacturing production lines as precision machines and processes become increasingly more commonplace throughout industry. Low-roughness, low-damage precision grinding is gaining widespread commercial acceptance for a host of brittle materials including advanced structural ceramics. The development of these processes is often problematic and requires diagnostic information and analysis to harden the processes for manufacturing. This paper presents a series of practical precision grinding tests developed and practiced at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that yield important information to help move a new process idea into production.