Scientists at Natcore Technology Inc. have demonstrated the effectiveness of the company's method to passivate the surface of standard commercial silicon solar cells on which a silica film has been grown using Natcore's liquid phase deposition (LPD) process.
Passivation is the process of filling the dangling atomic bonds at the surface of the solar cell, as well as reducing the numbers of defects that always exist in the upper region of the cell body. It is critical to enabling production of long-term, high-performance silicon solar cells, according to Natcore.
Natcore's research and development team reports that measurements of the effects of the Natcore surface-passivation process on an important parameter called surface recombination velocity (SRV), show that the SRV has been significantly improved compared to its value for an untreated cell. This result shows that Natcore's LPD passivation process achieves the same level of performance as the current industry standard technique, the company says.
Natcore adds that the process will be less costly to use in full-scale production compared to the hydrogenated silicon nitride passivation process now used in every silicon solar cell manufacturing line in the world. In Natcore's refined LPD process, this necessary passivation is achieved using the same production steps normally applied to the solar cell to create its top and bottom metal contacts; no additional heating cycles are required.
SOURCE: Natcore Technology Inc.