Many existing and emerging solar cell technologies rely on plated metal to form the front surface contacts, and aluminium to form the rear contact. Interactions between the metal plating solutions and the aluminium rear can have a significant impact on cell performance. This paper describes non-uniform nickel deposition on the sintered aluminium rear surface of passivated emitter and rear contacted (PERC) cells patterned using an inkjet printing technique. Rather than being plated homogeneously over the entire rear surface as is observed on an alloyed aluminium rear, the nickel is plated only in the vicinity of the point openings in the rear surface silicon dioxide dielectric layer. Furthermore, this non-uniform nickel deposition was shown to increase the contact resistance of the rear point contacts by an order of magnitude, resulting in higher series resistance values for these fabricated PERC cells.
- electroless nickel plating
- solar cell