At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (Hamburg, Germany),
IMEC presents a large-area
solar with a conversion efficiency of 18.4%. Compared to the standard i-PERC
cell process, IMEC's solar cell features a shallow emitter and advanced front
metallization using copper plating. The results were obtained on large-area
cells (125cm2), proving the industrial viability of the process.
IMEC's i-PERC cell with shallow emitter and Cu metallization
The shallow emitter results in an enhanced blue response, and thus in a higher
conversion efficiency than with a standard emitter. For the front contacts,
a novel metallization stack is added which is applied to local openings in the
antireflective coating. Dr. Joachim John, team manager at IMEC: “Using
copper instead of silver adds to the sustainability of solar cell production.
IMEC was able to do this because it has extensive experience with copper plating
on silicon”. A similar efficiency result was obtained with screen printed
contacts, but the long-term sustainability and low-cost potential of Cu-based
contacting solutions and the fact that this was a first result obtained without
dedicated fine-tuning makes this result particularly encouraging. ”
Dr. Jef Poortmans, IMEC's Photovoltaics Program Director, states “These
cells and the new metallization stack involved are a further successful step
in IMEC's target to develop ever more cost-effective, efficient crystalline
Si solar cells – eventually targeting cells that are only 40µm thick
with efficiencies above 20%.
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and
nanotechnology. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in
Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than
1,650 people include over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In
2008, IMEC's revenue (P&L) was 270 million euro.
IMEC's More Moore research targets semiconductor scaling for the 22nm technology
node and beyond. With its More than Moore research, IMEC invents technology
for nomadic embedded systems, wireless autonomous transducer solutions, biomedical
electronics, photovoltaics, organic electronics and GaN power electronics.
IMEC's research bridges the gap between the fundamental research at universities
and R&D in the industry. It has unique processing and system know-how, intellectual
property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a strong and worldwide
network position. This makes IMEC a key partner for shaping the technology of