PfZ (Processes for ZEBRA)

  • Funding institution: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
  • Support code: 0325840A
  • Amount of funding: € 1,546,400.00 (Funding rate: 70.04%)
  • Duration: 08/2015 to 07/2018
  • Consortium: ISC Konstanz, centrotherm, ROFIN-BAASEL Lasertech, Fraunhofer CSP


Within the PfZ project, the ZEBRA IBC solar cell will be optimised for its upcoming industrial application. Together with the project partners, we will adapt diffusion processes, passivation layers, the process sequence and laser processes to industrial-scale production. In doing so, the partners will investigate important aspects of the manufacturing steps regarding possible throughput, manufacturing costs and required investments. All manufacturing steps from wafer to module will be examined.

The aim of the project is the ability to manufacture 60-cell modules that meet the demands of common testing procedures for solar modules, using the project partners’ virtual pilot line. The cell and module manufacturing steps are all based on industrially proven process steps and equipment. Therefore, the cell process can be realised by upgrading already existing production lines.


The project is subdivided in five work packages, which outline the most important topics. However, a lot of interdisciplinary work is necessary as well. The work packages are

  1. Laser Ablation and Metallisation,
  2. Diffusion and Passivation,
  3. Module Integration,
  4. Simulation, and
  5. Industrial Application

Work packages 1 and 2 deal with adapting the manufacturing processes to industrial production and further optimising them. Among others, LP BBr3, fast-laser ablation, PECVD-AlOx passivation, screen-printing metallisation and integrated bypass diodes are studied. In work package 3, the consortium works on integrating the developed solar cell into the module, gives new impetus to the development of module-relevant topics, and studies the module’s reliability in well-established ageing tests.

Work package 4 provides simulation results for work packages 1 through 3, regarding, for example, antireflection coatings (ARC), internal reflection, reverse currents in the cell and the module, and module shading. Work package 5 addresses the cell concept’s industrial implementation by working on input costs, patent issues and the production of 60-cell modules in a virtual pilot line realised by the project partners.