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A 19.8% efficient honeycomb multicrystalline silicon solar cell with improved light trapping

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4 Author(s)
Zhao, Jianhua ; Photovoltaics Special Res. Centre, New South Wales Univ., Kensington, NSW, Australia ; Wang, Aihua ; Campbell, P. ; Green, M.A.

This paper reports a substantially improved efficiency for a multicrystalline silicon solar cell of 19.8%. This is the highest ever reported efficiency for a multicrystalline silicon cell. The improved multicrystalline cell performance results from enshrouding cell surfaces in thermally grown oxide to reduce their detrimental electronic activity and from isotropic etching to form a hexagonally-symmetric “honeycomb” surface texture. This texture, largely of inverted hemispheres, reduces reflection loss and improves absorption of infrared light by effectively acting as a randomizer. Results of a ray tracing model are presented, with the notable finding that up to 90% of infrared light is trapped in the substrate after the first two passes, compared with only 65% for the well known inverted pyramid structure. These optical features are considered to contribute to an exceptionally high short-circuit current density of 38.1 mA/cm2. A further improvement is expected by using under-etched wells for these honeycomb cells

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 10 )