The University of New South Wales has received a funding grant from ARENA to conduct research on the development of high-efficiency, low-cost p-type solar cells silicon solar cells in conjunction with the Australian National University and Arizona State University.
Atomic hydrogen and gettering will be used to heal defects in low-cost p-type silicon wafers and overcome incoming material quality requirements for fabricating high-efficiency heterojunction solar cells.
How the project works
The Hydrogenated and Hybrid Heterojunction P-Type Silicon Solar Cells project is a key initiative of ARENA’s 2017 Investment Plan for accelerating solar PV innovation. Building on a pilot project funded by the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, the study will use a newly developed multi-stage hydrogen passivation process to overcome the incompatibility between heterojunction solar cell structures and cheap, low-quality silicon wafers.
One of the key outcomes for the project is to develop a next-generation high-efficiency solar cell technology capable of using low-cost p-type silicon wafers.
Area of innovation
While amorphous silicon based heterojunction solar cells hold the world record efficiencies for silicon solar cells, they require expensive, high-quality n-type silicon wafers. This project will apply a multi- stage hydrogen passivation process to separate the injection of hydrogen into the solar cell before heterojunction formation, from the subsequent activation of the hydrogen passivation on finished devices. This separation will avoid the thermal degradation of amorphous silicon while improving material quality and enabling the use of cheap, low-quality p-type silicon wafers.
The Hydrogenated and Hybrid Heterojunction P-Type Silicon Solar Cells study will add knowledge on the neutralization of defects in silicon solar cells by gettering processes and atomic hydrogen, particularly for high-efficiency heterojunction solar cell structures based on amorphous silicon. These developments will also act as a model for replication in the processing of other high-efficiency solar cell structures.