The aim of the project is the investigation of silicon crystalline thin film solar cells, including the laboratory production of such cells by high temperature deposition on lowcost silicon substrates, by low temperature deposition on glass and using ceramic substrates. This development has the potential to result in future cost effective industrial processing techniques.
Crystalline silicon thin film solar cells will be produced by two different approaches: The high temperature approach using temperature stable substrates and CVD of silicon, followed by standard cell processing steps (TASK 1), The low temperature approach using glass as substrate and plasma-assisted CVD (PE-CVD) of silicon, preferably combined with direct emitter deposition (TASK 2).
For the high temperature approach low-cost silicon substrates will be studied first, but on the long run substrates on the basis of ceramics offer the possibility of further cost reduction. Therefore, the possibilities for the development of special ceramic sheets for this purpose will be another item of research (TASK 3).
The goal is to reach 14% efficiency on 2x2 or 5x5cm2 solar cells by the high temperature approach (TASK 1), 8% efficiency on 1cm2 cells for the low temperature approach (TASK 2) and to propose useful ceramic substrates (TASK 3).
Thin films seem to have substantial technical and economic benefits, especially when combined with the ernvironmentally benign crystalline silicon technology. If the project leads to technologies that could be transfered to industrial production, this would have a strong impact on further development in the field of crystalline silicon technology at the European industry. There would be a chance to develop continuous processes that would easily be adaptable to real mass production.
This approach may also pave the way for a cell processing based on areas larger than the usual 100 x 100 mm2 unit wafers, a means to reduce the cost for module fabrication.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts