An inkjet printing method for forming openings to buried semiconductor layers of silicon solar cells is described. The method uses an overlying resist as a sacrificial layer onto which a plasticiser for the resist polymer is deposited in a programmed pattern using inkjet printing. At the locations where the plasticiser is printed, the resist becomes permeable to aqueous etching solutions, enabling openings to be created in underlying dielectric or silicon layer(s). The formed openings can be used to create metal contacts to the buried silicon layers of the solar cell. The permeability of the resist to aqueous etchants can be reversed, thus enabling a single resist layer to be used to create more than one set of openings in the underlying layers. The proposed method may also be applied more generally to the formation of patterns of openings in layers of semiconductor or microelectromechanical devices.
- solar cell