imec, Kaneka replace silver in heterojunction silicon solar cells

Kaneka and imec have developed silver-free heterojunction silicon solar cells by electroplating a copper grid over the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layer. imec measured conversion efficiency at more than 21%.

November 28, 2011 — Kaneka and imec have developed silver-free heterojunction silicon solar cells by electroplating a copper grid over the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layer. imec measured conversion efficiency at more than 21% (6″ silicon substrate).

imec and Kaneka will present their results at the 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, November 28 to December 2 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The silver-free apprach replaces screen-printed silver with electroplated copper. The team says electroplating a copper top grid electrode enables higher efficiencies, lower resistivity, and a thinner metal line on top of the TCO. Copper is also a lower-cost alternative to silver. The copper electroplating technique is an “industry proven process,” the team adds.

Also read: Heraeus nods to PV cost pressures with lower-silver pastes and DuPont’s PV mission: Lower silver, lower costs

Kaneka?s Photovoltaics European Laboratory is located at the imec campus in Leuven, Belgium, and the collaboration used imec?s state-of-the-art PV infrastructure.

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.

Kaneka Corporation?s activities span a broad spectrum of markets ranging from photovoltaics, plastics, EPS resins, chemicals and foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electrical and electronic materials and synthetic fibers. Further information on Kaneka can be found at http://www.kaneka.co.jp/kaneka-e/

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