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Effect of Surface Structure on Electrical Performance of Industrial Diamond Wire Sawing Multicrystalline Si Solar Cells.

1. Introduction

Recently, diamond wire sawing technique on multicrystalline silicon wafer grew up at a very high speed due to cost-effectiveness compared to traditional slurry sawing process [1, 2]. It was demonstrated that diamond wire sawing (DWS) has several superiorities over multiwire slurry sawing (MWSS), that is, higher slicing speed, less saw damage layer, better environmental friendship, and potential for cutting thinner wafers [3, 4]. However, diamond wire sawing brings a big texturing problem due to the surface with less saw damage layer and less start point for normal acid texturing [5]. For mass production, there are now three main types of industrial techniques for fabricating DWS mc-Si solar cells: acid texturing with additive [6], reactive ion etching (RIE) [7], and metal-catalyzed chemical etching (MACE) [8-10].

In this work, the comparison between different process and the effect of different surface structure on reflectivity, lifetime, and electrical performance was systematically studied. We also demonstrate that DWS mc-Si solar cells can achieve average efficiency as high as 19.05% and 18.86% by RIE and MACE, respectively.

2. Experimental

The acid texturing, RIE, and MACE processes presented in this work are applied in the following solar cell fabrication process using industrial production machine:

Acid texturing for DWS mc silicon wafers by etching in HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O/additive solution (49wt% HF: 65wt% HN[O.sub.3]: [H.sub.2]O=1:2:1.2 by volume, 10[degrees]C) and subsequent cleaning in KOH solution and HF/HCl solution via RENA Inline text machine. Acid texturing for MWSS mc silicon wafers as reference by etching in HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O solution (49 wt% HF: 65 wt% HN[O.sub.3]: [H.sub.2]O = 1: 3: 2 by volume, 10[degrees]C) and subsequent cleaning in KOH solution and HF/HCl solution via RENA Inline text machine. RIE for DWS mc silicon wafers by etching in HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O solution (49wt% HF: 65wt% HN[O.sub.3]: [H.sub.2]O= 1:3:2 by volume, 10[degrees]c) to remove saw damage layer, maskless RIE in [SF.sub.6]/[O.sub.2]/[Cl.sub.2] plasma with 13.56 MHz radiofrequency using Belight system, and subsequent etching in HF/N[H.sub.4]F/[H.sub.2][O.sub.2] solution. MACE for DWS mc silicon wafers by etching in HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O/AgN[O.sub.3] solution (49 wt% HF: 65 wt% HNO3: H2O = 1: 2: 2 by volume, 25[degrees]C), cleaning in hot HN[O.sub.3] solution and subsequent etching in HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O solution. The etch depth of all texturing process are about 2.9 [micro]m per each wafer side.

Emitter formation using a tube furnace from CT Systems with liquid PO[Cl.sub.3] as dopant source at a temperature of 835[degrees]C and atmospheric pressure for 60 min in [O.sub.2] and N2 ambient followed by edge isolation and removal of phosphor-silicate glass (PSG) using Rena tool. Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of 80 nm hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride (SiNx:H) antireflective coating at 400[degrees]C using a CT tool. Screen printing of Al rear contact, Ag rear contact, and Ag front contact with standard paste, which was fired using a Despatch infrared fast-firing furnace, with a peak temperature set point of 925[degrees]C and a belt speed of 6000 mm/min.

Samples used for lifetime measurement were deposited by SiN on both side and fired at the same temperature as the cell. The microstructure, reflection, lifetime of minority carrier, and IV curves of the resulted mc-Si wafers or solar cells were measured by SEM (Hitachi, S4800, Japan), reflectometer (Radiation Technology D8, China), IV measurement system (Halm, Germany), and WT2000 (Sinton WCT120, USA), respectively.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Microstructure of mc-Si Wafers with Different Texture Process. Figure 1 shows the SEM pictures of different surface structures including acid etching on MWSS wafer and acid etching, RIE, and MACE on DWS wafer. Figures 1(a) and 1(b) compare the surface morphologies of acid etching on MWSS and DWS wafer. Obviously, the size of oval pits is quite similar and about 2-5 [micro]m. A uniform nanostructure fabricated by RIE was successfully integrated into the former etching pit on DWS wafer in Figure 1(c). The diameter of the nanostructure is in the range of 200-400 nm. Figure 1(d) shows that uniform small round etching pits with the size of 500-800 nm can be obtained by MACE process on DWS wafer.

3.2. Reflectance of mc-Si Wafers and SiN-Deposited Wafer with Different Texture Process. Figure 2 shows the reflectivity R versus the wavelength (350-1050 nm) curves of wafers with different microstructures. The average reflectivity [R.sub.ave] of the acid etching DWS wafer (31.0%) is 5.7% higher than that of the MWSS wafer (25.3%), while the [R.sub.ave] of RIE DWS mc-Si wafer (15.1%) and MACE DWS mc-Si wafer (23.2%) is 15.9% and 7.8% less than that of the acid-etched DWS mc-Si wafer (31.0%). The reflectivity difference between acid-etched DWS and MWSS may be attributed to the deeper etching pit in the MWSS wafer than those of the DWS wafer because a thin amorphous silicon layer only found in the DWS wafer will prevent effective etching of the surface [8, 11]. The size of surface structure should be responsible for the significant reflectivity reduction of RIE and MACE DWS mc-Si wafer compared to acid-etched ones.

Figure 3 shows the reflectivity R versus the wavelength (350-1050 nm) curves of SiN-deposited wafers with different microstructures. The average reflectivity Rave of the acid-etching DWS wafer (7.7%) is 0.8% higher than that of the MWSS wafer (6.9%), while the Rave of RIE DWS mc-Si wafer (2.1%) and MACE DWS mc-Si wafer (5.8%) is 5.6% and 1.9% less than that of the acid-etched DWS mc-Si wafer (7.7%).

3.3. Minority Carrier Lifetime of mc-Si Wafers with Different Texture Process. Figure 4 shows the minority carrier lifetime of wafers with different microstructures. The average lifetime of the acid-etching DWS mc-Si wafer (58.1 us) is 15.5 us higher than that of the MWSS mc-Si wafer (42.6 us), while the [R.sub.ave] of RIE DWS mc-Si wafer (66.2 us) and MACE DWS mc-Si wafer (101.3 us) is 8.1 us and 43.2 us higher than that of the acid-etched DWS mc-Si wafer (58.1 us). The increasement of lifetime of acid-etched DWS mc-Si wafer compared to that of MWSS wafer was due to the thinner saw damage layer of DWS mc-Si wafer. It is important that even the size of surface structure decrease to several hundred nanometers, good surface passivation can still be obtained on DWS mc-Si wafer with proper process. It can be inferred that within the size of several hundred nanometers, the surface area is not the key factor to affect surface passivation. Especially for MACE process, the HF/HN[O.sub.3]/[H.sub.2]O treatment after Ag-removal acts like "rounding" process in texturing for HIT solar cells, providing possibility to deposit high-quality passivation film [12]. Both RIE and MACE processes have the potential to optimize surface recombination velocity and reflectance simultaneously.

3.4. Electrical Parameters of mc-Si Solar Cells with Different Surface Structure. Table 1 shows electrical performance of mc-Si solar cells with different surface structure. Even with some additive to improve the reflectance of acid-etched DWS mc-Si wafer, higher reflectivity leads to lower short-circuit current density (36.25 mA/[cm.sup.2]) and efficiency (18.51%) compared to that of acid-etched MWSS mc-Si wafer (36.60 mA/[cm.sup.2] and 18.60%). Both RIE and MACE processes show significant current improvement compared to acid-etching process on DWS mc-Si solar cells due to the lower reflectance. Comparing RIE DWS with MACE DWS mc-Si solar cells, the RIE process shows higher [J.sub.sc] and MACE process shows higher [V.sub.oc] which is in accord with the reflectivity and lifetime results. The average efficiency and open-circuit voltage of RIE (19.05%) and MACE (18.86%) also demonstrate their potential to achieve higher performance and the possibility to be mainstream texturing process for DWS mc-Si solar cells.

4. Conclusion

In summary, 19.05% and 18.86% efficiency DWS mc-Si solar cells with uniform nanotexture have been fabricated through RIE and MACE processes on an industrial production line. The results confirmed that both RIE and MACE process technique can provide an effective texture for DWS mc-Si solar cells. Because of the significant improvement of light-trapping ability on RIE and surface passivation ability on MACE DWS mc-Si solar cells, the [J.sub.sc] of RIE DWS mc-Si solar cell is 1.23 mA/[cm.sup.2] higher and the [V.sub.oc] of MACE DWS mc-Si solar cell is 0.7 mV higher than that of an acid-etched one. Those results demonstrate the biggest obstacle for industrial wide spread of DWS mc-Si wafer has been removed by the application of RIE or MACE process and this will benefit for high efficiency and low cost of the PV industry.

https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7947015

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Acknowledgments

The authors express their thanks to the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant no. 61575019; the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities with Grant no. 2017RC034, no. 2017RC015, and no. 2017JBZ105; the Doctoral Program of Higher Education no. 20130009130001; and Jiangsu Planned Projects for Postdoctoral Research Funds (1701072B).

References

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[6] M. Lippold, F. Buchholz, C. Gondek, F. Honeit, E. Wefringhaus, and E. Kroke, "Texturing of SiC-slurry and diamond wire sawn silicon wafers by HF-HN[O.sub.3]-[H.sub.2]S[O.sub.4] mixtures," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 127, pp. 104-110, 2014.

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Shaoliang Wang (1), Xianfang Gou, (2,3) Su Zhou (iD), (2,4) Junlin Huang, (2,4) Qingsong Huang, (2) Jialiang Qiu, (2) Zheng Xu (iD), (1) and Honglie Shen (4)

(1) Institute of Optoelectronics Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

(2) CECEP Solar Energy Technology (Zhenjiang) Co. Ltd., Zhenjiang 212132, China

(3) Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China

(4) Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 211106, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Su Zhou; zhousu2003@hotmail.com and Zheng Xu; zhengxu@bjtu.edu.cn

Received 22 November 2017; Revised 19 February 2018; Accepted 7 March 2018; Published 2 May 2018

Academic Editor: Germa Garcia-Belmonte

Caption: Figure 1: SEM pictures of different surface structures.

Caption: Figure 2: Reflectivity versus wavelength curves of wafers with different microstructures.

Caption: Figure 3: Reflectivity versus wavelength curves of SiN-deposited wafers with different microstructures.

Caption: Figure 4: Minority carrier lifetime of wafers with different surface structures.
Table 1: Electrical performance of mc-Si solar cells with different
surface structure.

                        [V.sub.oc]/mV            [J.sub.sc]/
                                               (mA/[cm.sup.2])

Acid-etched MWSS     635.1 [+ or -] 1.5      36.60 [+ or -] 0.10
Acid-etched DWS      636.2 [+ or -] 1.3      36.25 [+ or -] 0.07
RIE DWS              635.6 [+ or -] 1.9      37.48 [+ or -] 0.08
MACE DWS             636.9 [+ or -] 2.8      36.89 [+ or -] 0.13

                            FF/%                   [eta]/%

Acid-etched MWSS     80.00 [+ or -] 0.16     18.60 [+ or -] 0.09
Acid-etched DWS      80.25 [+ or -] 0.15     18.51 [+ or -] 0.08
RIE DWS              79.96 [+ or -] 0.13     19.05 [+ or -] 0.10
MACE DWS             80.28 [+ or -] 0.12     18.86 [+ or -] 0.16
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Wang, Shaoliang; Gou, Xianfang; Zhou, Su; Huang, Junlin; Huang, Qingsong; Qiu, Jialiang; Xu, Zheng;
Publication:International Journal of Photoenergy
Date:Jan 1, 2018
Words:2306
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