3D simulations of interdigitated back-contacted crystalline silicon solar cells on thin substrates
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Interdigitated back contact technology is a promising candidate to be applied to thin crystalline silicon solar cells because of its simpler one-side interconnection while allowing a more flexible front surface treatment. This work explores the efficiency potential of IBC c-Si solar cells applied to thin c-Si substrates through 3D device simulations. In particular, we explore the impact of substrate thickness and front surface recombination velocity on cell performance with special attention to the different behavior in carrier collection of two different rear-surface doping structures. Firstly, the model is validated by comparing simulation results to a fabricated device on 280¿µm-thick substrates with stripe-like p+ and n+ diffusions. It is revealed that efficiencies of 16–17% are reachable for substrates on the 10–15¿µm range without changing the technology developed for thick ones. Next, the rear doping structure is modified leading to doped regions just under the metal contacts. This type of structure is expected in solar cells where high-temperature diffusions are replaced by point-like laser doped contacts, which is a feasible alternative to be applied to thin substrates. Simulation results show that diffusion length requirements for those locally-doped structures are more demanding due to the reduction of emitter regions. As a result, very well passivated front and rear surfaces are required to maintain short-circuit current densities to reasonable values. Finally, for both structures open-circuit voltage is kept almost constant with reduced thickness, despite the strong reduction in short-circuit current. Simulations show a reduction of dark saturation current density with substrate thinning due to the redistribution of dark current densities that flow parallel to the device surface.
© <2018>. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
CitationChen, J. [et al.]. 3D simulations of interdigitated back-contacted crystalline silicon solar cells on thin substrates. "Solar energy", 1 Juny 2018, vol. 167, p. 242-250.