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Title: The formation mechanism for printed silver-contacts for silicon solar cells

Abstract

Screen-printing provides an economically attractive means for making Ag electrical contacts to Si solar cells, but the use of Ag substantiates a significant manufacturing cost, and the glass frit used in the paste to enable contact formation contains Pb. To achieve optimal electrical performance and to develop pastes with alternative, abundant, and non-toxic materials requires understanding the contact formation process during firing. Here, we use in-situ X-ray diffraction during firing to reveal the reaction sequence. The findings suggest that between 500 degrees C and 650 degrees C PbO in the frit etches the SiNx antireflective-coating on the solar cell, exposing the Si surface. Then, above 650 degrees C, Ag+ dissolves into the molten glass frit -- key for enabling deposition of metallic Ag on the emitter surface and precipitation of Ag nanocrystals within the glass. Ultimately, this work clarifies contact formation mechanisms and suggests approaches for development of inexpensive, nontoxic solar cell contacting pastes.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  3. Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1246959
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-66096
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Related Information: Nature Communications; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; silicon photovoltaics; contact formation; in situ X-ray diffraction

Citation Formats

Fields, Jeremy D., Ahmad, Md. Imteyaz, Pool, Vanessa L., Yu, Jiafan, Van Campen, Douglas G., Parilla, Philip A., Toney, Michael F., and van Hest, Maikel F. A. M. The formation mechanism for printed silver-contacts for silicon solar cells. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms11143.
Fields, Jeremy D., Ahmad, Md. Imteyaz, Pool, Vanessa L., Yu, Jiafan, Van Campen, Douglas G., Parilla, Philip A., Toney, Michael F., & van Hest, Maikel F. A. M. The formation mechanism for printed silver-contacts for silicon solar cells. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms11143.
Fields, Jeremy D., Ahmad, Md. Imteyaz, Pool, Vanessa L., Yu, Jiafan, Van Campen, Douglas G., Parilla, Philip A., Toney, Michael F., and van Hest, Maikel F. A. M. Fri . "The formation mechanism for printed silver-contacts for silicon solar cells". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms11143. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1246959.
@article{osti_1246959,
title = {The formation mechanism for printed silver-contacts for silicon solar cells},
author = {Fields, Jeremy D. and Ahmad, Md. Imteyaz and Pool, Vanessa L. and Yu, Jiafan and Van Campen, Douglas G. and Parilla, Philip A. and Toney, Michael F. and van Hest, Maikel F. A. M.},
abstractNote = {Screen-printing provides an economically attractive means for making Ag electrical contacts to Si solar cells, but the use of Ag substantiates a significant manufacturing cost, and the glass frit used in the paste to enable contact formation contains Pb. To achieve optimal electrical performance and to develop pastes with alternative, abundant, and non-toxic materials requires understanding the contact formation process during firing. Here, we use in-situ X-ray diffraction during firing to reveal the reaction sequence. The findings suggest that between 500 degrees C and 650 degrees C PbO in the frit etches the SiNx antireflective-coating on the solar cell, exposing the Si surface. Then, above 650 degrees C, Ag+ dissolves into the molten glass frit -- key for enabling deposition of metallic Ag on the emitter surface and precipitation of Ag nanocrystals within the glass. Ultimately, this work clarifies contact formation mechanisms and suggests approaches for development of inexpensive, nontoxic solar cell contacting pastes.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms11143},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Journal Article:
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Cited by: 12 works
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Works referenced in this record:

Silver thick-film contacts on highly doped n-type silicon emitters: Structural and electronic properties of the interface
journal, March 2003

  • Ballif, C.; Huljić, D. M.; Willeke, G.
  • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 82, Issue 12, p. 1878-1880
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1562338