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Keywords:

  • high-efficiency;
  • multicrystalline silicon;
  • crystalline silicon solar cells;
  • silicon oxide

Abstract

This paper presents the first conversion efficiency above 20% for a multicrystalline silicon solar cell. The application of wet oxidation for rear surface passivation significantly reduces the process temperature and therefore prevents the degradation of minority-carrier lifetime. The excellent optical properties of the dielectrically passivated rear surface in combination with a plasma textured front surface result in a superior light trapping and allow the use of substrates below 100 μm thickness. A simplified process scheme with laser-fired rear contacts leads to conversion efficiencies of 20·3% for multicrystalline and 21·2% for monocrystalline silicon solar cells on small device areas (1 cm2). Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.