Application of 266-nm picosecond (ps) laser ablation and copper (Cu)-plated metallization to p-type selective emitter (SE) passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC) is reported in this paper. Use of a 266-nm ps laser resulted in similar laser-induced periodic surface structures as observed for 355-nm ps laser ablation of a silicon (Si) nitride antireflection coating (ARC) on random-textured Si solar cell surfaces. In addition, it is shown that 266-nm ps laser ablation results in the formation of amorphous Si with an underlying distorted crystalline Si layer at the laser-ablated surfaces. The successful alignment of laser-ablated openings to the heavily doped SE regions resulted in a comparable cell efficiency of Cu-plated SE PERC cells to screen-printed controls, with a maximum cell efficiency of 20.6% being achieved for the Cu-plated cells. The plated cell performance was limited by the recombination losses, and in particular nonideal recombination caused by the use of a shallow emitter, which had been optimized for screen-printed metallization. Engineering of an SE with a junction depth of 0.52 μm in the heavily doped regions resulted in a 0.3% absolute increase in pseudo fill factor and demonstrated the importance of displacing the p-n junction from the laser-ablated Si surface. Although 355-nm ps laser ablation has been demonstrated to result in strong busbar adhesion in previous reports of Cu-plated cells, significant variability in the busbar adhesion of the fully plated SE PERC cells resulted by 266-nm ps laser ablation. The predicted increased sensitivity of 266-nm laser ablation to the ARC thickness and the possibility that surface oxides were not uniformly removed across wafers before plating may have affected the uniformity of silicide formation and hence the adhesion of the plated busbars.
- Copper (Cu) metallization
- laser ablation
- passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC)
- selective emitter (SE)
- silicon (Si) solar cells