Research & Development

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We have made it our task to decrease the cost of electricity generation using silicon-based photovoltaics. By doing so, we wish to promote the widespread use of this technology. This is why we optimise existing and develop new processing steps for present-day and future industrial solar cells. At the heart of this effort lies our research into technologies based on crystalline silicon wafers. For this purpose we work with traditional polysilicon and innovative solar grade silicon materials.

Our focus lies on large area solar cells (156 x 156 mm). Such cells currently reach an energy conversion efficiency of 22% for monocrystalline silicon solar cells (ZEBRA) and 18.0% for multicrystalline silicon solar cells. We are working at optimising standard solar cells even further, so that they may reach more than 23% on very thin substrates in the long term. These substrates should not be thicker than 100 µm in the future, whereas currently their thickness lies at around 200 µm.

In order to reach these goals, the Research and Development team at ISC Konstanz cooperates with leading companies and research institutes in the photovoltaics sector.

What we offer:

  • Optimisation of existing and development of new processing steps and of equipment for the industrial production of solar cells with a high energy conversion efficiency
  • Development and testing of innovative solar cell concepts
  • Small sample production of special as well as partially processed solar cells applying customer-defined processing steps on our processing equipment
  • Loss-analyses of solar cells and modules
  • Solar cell characterisation, using our characterisation equipment, and running simulations
  • Development and optimisation of individual process steps for standard industrial solar cells:
    • Wet-chemical processing (e.g. texturing, diffusion, contact formation)
    • Diffusion engineering (selective emitter and local back surface field formation, lowly doped emitters, advanced gettering)
    • New passivation approaches (SiC, SiCN, gradient layers, coloured solar cells for building integration)
    • Improved metallisation (fine-line printing, plating, paste development)

Further foci lie on advanced solar cell concepts and manufacturing, such as:

  • N-type solar cells (front and rear junction approaches)
  • Structures with open rear contact (mono- and bifacial application)
  • Rear-contacted devices (MWT, EWT, IBC)
  • Devices adapted to light injection (0.01-10 suns)
  • Development of prototypes with our industrial partners