We tested several methods of patterning amorphous-silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells to form stripe cells and to connect these stripe cells integrated with cell deposition process to a series-connected module. The patterning techniques used included: laser cut, screen print lift-off techniques, adhesive tapes with lift-off, and a special mechanical milling method. The three layers of a cell which must be patterned are 1. SnO2 :F on glass, 2. a-Si (p(C)in), 3. metal-electrode.
We developed a convenient patterning method for a laboratory size with a loss of area of 13 %: 1. laser cut, 2. milling, 3. adhesive tape lift-off. For a higher level of production we tested the following sequence with a loss of area of 4 %: 1. screenprint and lift-off, 2. milling/slotting, 3. screen print and lift-off. The last method has the advantage that without any laser treatment the costs are only third of those of the other methods with a laser cut; so we will eliminate the laser cut in future for manufacturing modules.