Towards the Efficiency Limits of Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
In this contribution, we present our recent results for high efficiency multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Based on n-type high-performance multicrystalline silicon substrates in combination with the TOPCon solar cell concept featuring a full area passivating back contact and a boron-diffused emitter as well as a plasma-etched black-silicon texture at the front side, a certified conversion efficiency of 22.3% has been achieved, which is currently the world record efficiency for multicrystalline silicon solar cells. A detailed loss analysis of the record solar cell batch discloses the nature of the remaining loss mechanisms, revealing the route for further improvements. We observe an efficiency gap between the multicrystalline and the FZ reference solar cells of ~1%abs. Compared to the FZ reference cells, the mc-Si cells also feature a significantly larger scattering in Voc and Jsc as well as a fill factor loss of ~1.5%abs. We show that the scattering in Jsc correlates with the area fraction of recombination-active structural crystal defects and the scattering in Voc additionally with lateral emitter-induced inhomogeneities. The fill factor loss is attributed to the general presence of strongly recombination-active grain boundaries. A detailed loss analysis of the record mc-Si solar cell shows that the major electrical losses are due to recombination at grain boundaries (0.7%abs) and recombination in the emitter (0.6%abs). By reducing these electrical loss channels, e.g. by an improved crystallization process together with a hydrogenation of the bulk and application of an adapted emitter, we expect to reach efficiencies for mc-Si solar cells in the range of 23%.