Figure: General structure of poly-Si-on-low-cost Si substrate solar cell

ThinSi will develop a solar cell processing chain for high throughput, cost-effective manufacturing of thin film silicon based solar cells on low-cost silicon substrates. The substrates will be made on the basis of an innovative powder-to-substrate concept. In line with the Workprogramme topic addressed, it will reduce the cost of solar cell modules compared to those made by the conventional wafer based approach.

A set of innovative processes will be developed to realize the new low-cost concept and transfer the results into production. The new silicon based substrates will be made from low-cost material using state-of-the art ceramics technologies. Cost effective processes for the formation of the thin film silicon base and the complete solar cell structure will be developed. New methods for optical confinement will be investigated. The electronic properties of individual solar cell materials and their interfaces as well as the relationship between the deposition parameters and the device properties will be analyzed using advanced characterization and modeling.

It will also develop a better understanding of relevant materials issues. Manufacturing procedures suitable for pilot scale production will be developed based on an innovative process chain. The produced solar cells will be assembled into complete modules. The project will develop innovative technologies and equipment prototypes that can easily be scaled up and transferred to production lines by the end of the project. New marked opportunities for the SME and industrial partners will be created, both as production tool suppliers and as end-users of the technology.


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