Project Name: Novel and Effective Surface Passivation for High Efficiency n- and p-type Silicon Solar Cells
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Newark, DE
SETO Award Amount: $800,000
Awardee Cost Share: $200,000
Principal Investigator: Ujjwal K. Das

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Metallization is a step in the silicon solar cell fabrication process where conductive metal inks are printed onto the cell surface and then heat-treated to bond the metal to the cell. This can lead to defects that decrease voltage and lower conversion efficiencies. Surface passivation, which involves depositing layers of material onto the silicon cell surface to mitigate these defects, can minimize these losses and improve cell performance. This project will examine whether selenium (Se) and sulfur (S) can be used in silicon surface passivation for industrial-scale solar manufacturing.


The team will evaluate the bonding, compatibility, and electronic and optical properties of silicon wafer surfaces in contact with S/Se passivated layers. They will test the bonding, stability, and quality of S/Se layers deposited onto silicon using different time, temperature, and S/Se concentration conditions.


This project will minimize recombination losses by increasing the major efficiency limiting parameter, open-circuit voltage, using S/Se passivation layers in silicon solar cells. This will help explain the relationship between S/Se structure and performance, which could lead to another pathway for large-scale, high-efficiency silicon solar cell manufacturing.