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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    The Australian National University


    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

    ARENA Program

    Addressing Solar PV End-of-Life Issues and Lowering Solar PV Cost

  • Start date

    18 September 2020

    End date

    1 May 2023

  • Project Partners
    Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), SunPower Corporation (USA)
    This solar pv project was completed on 1 May 2023.


This project will investigate the use of novel multifunctional dielectric layers to simplify processing of high-efficiency silicon solar cells.

Key results

The Project investigated the use of phosphorous oxide (POx) as an insulating layer within silicon solar cells to reduce efficiency loss (through surface recombination) and help simplify production processing (via laser contact formation). These multifunctional dielectric layers can help simplify processing and reduce the cost of high efficiency solar cells. This research has helped advance this technology for commercial application.


Silicon solar cells that use local contacts to reduce contact recombination have demonstrated some of the highest efficiencies in laboratory devices. Transferring such technologies to industry requires substituting complex photolithographic patterning with low-cost, high-throughput processes for local contact formation. The ANU and Eindhoven University of Technology have recently identified phosphorus oxide (POx) as an effective passivation material for silicon cells, with comparable or better performance than current state-of-the-art materials used in mass production.


This project is investigating the use of phosphorus oxide (POx) as an insulating layer within high efficiency silicon solar cells in order to reduce efficiency loss (through surface recombination) and simplify production processing.

Such multifunctional dielectric layers have the potential to significantly simplify processing and consequently reduce the cost of high-efficiency silicon solar cells. This project will advance this promising technology towards commercial application.


The outcome of the project is expected to be a stable, high-performance technology for surface passivation and contact of silicon solar cells, based on a simple processing sequence and demonstrated in high efficiency devices.

Last updated 08 May 2023


Solar research funding awarded to 16 new projects

New funding will help solar researchers to develop panels that are more cost-effective and efficient.

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