In-line plasma etching at atmospheric pressue for edge isolation in crystalline Si solar cells
In this contribution dry etching of crystalline silicon solar cells in a novel atmospheric pressure plasma is described. Dry etching has the potential to replace wet chemical etching steps in solar cell processing. Unlike in other dry etching systems described recently a plasma arc operating at atmospheric pressure is employed, offering the advantage of reduced investment costs and better process integration. Removal of the emitter from the rear surface is expected to lead to a reduction in surface recombination velocity and can be particularly useful for future cell concepts with dielectric rear surface passivation. Good shunt resistance values were achieved and the cell efficiencies are comparable to results from the reference process.