DuPont, Heraeus roll new PV metallization pastes

DuPont Microcircuit Materials and Heraeus are both rolling out new PV metallization pastes to help improve contact quality and aspect ratios for both crystalline silicon (c-Si) and thin-film modules.


September 16, 2009 – DuPont Microcircuit Materials and Heraeus are both rolling out new PV metallization pastes to help improve contact quality and aspect ratios for both crystalline silicon (c-Si) and thin-film modules.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials says its new Solamet PV412 photovoltaic (PV) metallization paste, developed in collaboration with module provider Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI), helps enhance efficiency and reduce cost for thin-film photovoltaic modules.

The paste is designed for use with devices built with transparent conductive oxides (TCO) including copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS), amorphous silicon (a-Si) on flexible substrates, and heterojunction with intrinsic thin layers (HIT) PV cells, and any PV application using a low temperature curing conductor, the company noted in a statement. Key features include fine line printing down to 80μm resolution, long screen residence time, low contact resistance, low gridline resistance, and high adhesion to indium tin oxide, as well as the aforementioned “strong compatibility” with transparent conductive oxides.

For DuPont, the new paste is the latest release in the midst of a push to nearly triple its total annual PV sales to >$1 billion by 2012. For ASTI, a producer of lightweight flexible PV modules targeting portable and building-integrated PV (BIPV), “the ability to work closely with our supplier DuPont in early stage testing as it adapted Solamet photovoltaic metallizations to other materials and manufacturing processes has been a big advantage,” stated Prem Nath, SVP of production operations.

Meanwhile, Heraeus’ PV business unit is targeting silicon PV cells (mono- and multicrystalline) with its new front-side silver paste that it says offers better contact quality and aspect ratios.

The SOL9235H, “enhances the etching of the anti-reflective coating and significantly improves the contact quality of the cell during the spike firing process,” according to business unit manager Andy London, and “provides a very high printed aspect ratio feature which further boosts current density and fill factor of the cell.” It also works with a wide range of sheet resistance emitters, the company added in a statement.

In customer tests, the cadmium-free silver metallization paste reportedly increased cell absolute output efficiencies by 0.2%-0.4% in development and scale-up.

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