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Low sheet resistance (high mobility) with high transmittance in all wavelength is required for front TCO. High haze value is also required for effective light trapping. For this purpose, we have combined F-doped SnO2 (FTO) with high mobility deposited by LPCVD and reactive ion etching (RIE) processed glass substrate. However, two problems have been found. (1) The mobility of FTO on RIE substrate dropped from that on flat glass (75 to 36 cm2/Vs). To avoid this drop, thicker film is needed. (2) To keep high transmittance with thicker film, lower carrier concentration is needed. But the mobility dropped with lower carrier concentration. In order to solve these constrains, we have adopted a stacked structure using thick non-doped layer of 2700 nm and thin F-doped layer of 500 nm. With this novel approach, we have successfully achieved the high mobility (80 cm2/Vs), low carrier concentration (2.2x1019 /cm3) and high haze value (77% at wavelength of 1000 nm) at the same time. This new developed high-haze SnO2 is a new promising TCO for thin-film Si solar cells.
In order to reduce the power-generating cost of silicon solar cells, it is necessary to achieve a high conversion efficiency using a thinner crystalline silicon (c-Si) substrate. The HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer) solar cell is an amorphous silicon (a-Si) / c-Si heterojunction solar cell that exhibits the potential to make this possible. Our recent R&D activities have achieved the world’s highest conversion efficiency of 23.0% with a practical sized (100.4 cm2) HIT solar cell, by improving the quality of the surface passivation, reducing the optical absorption loss and reducing the resistance loss. We have also developed a HIT solar cell with a thickness of only 98 mm, which has a very high conversion efficiency of 22.8%. This value is comparable to that of the conventional HIT solar cell, which has a thickness of more than 200 mm. Moreover, we have fabricated HIT solar cells using thinner c-Si substrates (96 to 58 μm), and found that the Voc increased with decreases in the substrate thickness, and reached an extremely high value of 0.745 V with a thickness of only 58 μm. This indicates that the surface recombination velocity of the HIT structure is extremely low due to the excellent passivation of the c-Si surface.
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