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Towards understanding the characteristics of Ag-Al spiking on boron-doped silicon for solar cells

: Wöhrle, N.; Lohmüller, E.; Greulich, J.; Werner, S.; Mack, S.


Solar energy materials and solar cells 146 (2016), pp.72-79
ISSN: 0927-0248
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
PV Produktionstechnologie und Qualitätssicherung; Silicium-Photovoltaik; Pilotherstellung von industrienahen Solarzellen; Messtechnik und Produktionskontrolle; solar cell; saturation current density; metallization; Emitter; simulation

With this work, we introduce numeric three-dimensional simulation of metal spiking into highly boron-doped surfaces of n-type silicon solar cells, which is moreover performed with a simulation of the quasi-steady-state photoconductance technique. This setup serves as a virtual experiment to simulate the dark saturation current density j0,met of metallized boron-doped emitters with respect to metal spikes originating from the silver–aluminum (Ag–Al) contact. With the results obtained from this simulation model we approach quality and quantity of increased j0,met and give detailed insight to which degree a solar cell’s performance is possibly harmed by this effect. We show that metal spikes penetrating into boron-doped emitters are of harmless nature concerning j0,met until their tips reach depths where boron doping concentration is lower than approximately 1018 cm−3. Deeper spikes then lead to an exponential increase in j0,met as more and more carriers from emitter and also the base are able to diffuse to its tip and recombine there. With the help of j0-results obtained experimentally in combination with the simulation results, we discuss the influence of spikes on emitter recombination, the benefits that can be achieved with deeper emitter doping profiles, and suggestions for the further development of pastes to contact boron-doped surfaces.