Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated | 3/16/2018 | Staff
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A research team from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Waseda University have successfully produced high-quality thin film monocrystalline silicon with a reduced crystal defect density down to the silicon wafer level at a growth rate that is more than 10 times higher than before. In principle, this method can improve the raw material yield to nearly 100 percent. Therefore, it can be expected that this technology will make it possible to drastically reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining the power generation efficiency of monocrystalline silicon solar cells, which are used in most high efficient solar cells.

Efficiently converting solar energy to generate electricity is an effective solution to the problem of global warming related to CO2 emissions. By making the monocrystalline Si solar cells that are at the core of solar power generation systems thinner, it is possible to greatly reduce raw material costs, which account for about 40 percent of the cost of current modules. Making them flexible and lighter would increase usage and decrease costs.

Addition - Method - Manufacturing - Cost - Monocrystalline

In addition, as a method of reducing manufacturing cost, thin-film monocrystalline Si solar cells that use a double porous silicon layer (DPSL) via lift-off are attracting attention. Among the technical challenges related to monocrystalline Si solar cells using lift-off are (1) the formation of a high-quality thin film Si at the Si wafer level, (2) achieving a porous structure that can easily be lifted off (peeled off), (3) improving the growth rate and Si raw material yield (necessary equipment costs are determined by the growth rate), and (4) being able to use the substrate after lift-off without any waste.

In order to overcome challenge (1), it was necessary to clarify the main factors that determine the quality of thin film crystals grown on porous silicon, and to develop a technique for controlling these.


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