Polysilicon passivated junctions: The next technology for silicon solar cells?

Di Yan*, Andres Cuevas, Jesús Ibarra Michel, Chun Zhang, Yimao Wan, Xinyu Zhang, James Bullock*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    88 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Despite the maturity of crystalline silicon photovoltaics (c-Si PV), the last 6 years have seen a string of efficiency improvements, most of which are centered around reducing the losses related to the directly metallized, heavily doped regions found in conventional c-Si solar cells. Among these advancements, polysilicon (poly-Si) passivated junctions, formed by embedding a thin silicon oxide (SiO2) layer between the c-Si wafer and a highly doped poly-Si layer, are emerging as one of the most promising alternatives, and efficiencies above 26% have already been demonstrated. The excellent performance of this junction architecture has been found to be remarkably independent of the deposition and/or doping technique used—even extending to techniques already prevalent in industry. This greatly reduces the capital and retraining expenditure needed to integrate the new technology into mainstream production lines, allowing it to be an evolutionary, rather than disruptive advancement. This has led to the rapid demonstration of large-area cells featuring poly-Si contacts by multiple PV manufacturing companies, with efficiencies above 24.5%. Although a bright future for poly-Si junctions is anticipated, as supported by the predictions of the International Technology Roadmap of Photovoltaics, several issues remain to be resolved, including those associated with the cost of and damage to the poly-Si layers due to the cell's metallization process. This paper provides a perspective of the remaining challenges and potential of poly-Si junctions to transform the PV industry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)811-828
    Number of pages18
    JournalJoule
    Volume5
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021

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