New PV Materials Enable Reduced Silicon Use in Solar Cells

Using new lead- and cadmium-free photovoltaic (PV) materials developed by Ferro Electronic Material Systems will enable solar cell manufacturers to significantly reduce silicon usage in manufacturing multi-crystalline solar cells. Ferro launched its products at the 21st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, held last week in Dresden, Germany.

The compatible lead- and cadmium-free system of novel aluminum, rear silver, and front silver metallizations offers improved electrical performance on silicon wafers that are less than 180 microns thick. The current generation “thin” wafers are 240 micron thick. Ferro’s new aluminum product permits further silicon reductions to less than 180 microns thick, with less than 1 mm of camber on 150 mm square wafers. Ferro’s compatible new lead free front and rear silver metallizations provide improved electrical performance and are able to contact emitters with sheet resistivity of 50 to 70 ohms/square. The products also offer improved solderability, and adhesion of more than 800 gms using a 4 mil tabing ribbon. Front silver products are also available in a Hot Melt option for peak performance and line resolution.
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