Innovations for New Cell Concepts

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SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES builds innovative machines and systems for efficient and resource-friendly production processes. SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES’ strategy is to take advantage of its existing core competencies and to expand these further.

The core competencies include vacuum coating, surface processing, wet-chemical and thermal production processes. The company offers machines, which are used worldwide in the solar, semiconductor, medical technology, consumer goods and data storage sectors. For all of the machines, processes and applications SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES harnesses its automation and process technology expertise.

The question how mankind can generate energy in an intelligent and efficient manner is today’s challenge for the future. Solar power is at the forefront of being one pillar for sustainable energy supply. Intelligent energy transition towards renewables represents both an opportunity and a challenge for power generation. Highly efficient photovoltaic cells will pave the road to this destination. Modern storage and battery technologies will sharply increase the use of environmentally-friendly energy.

Innovative Technology for Photovoltaics

With our production equipment we improve cell efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs. Take a closer look at the production machines for thinfilm solar cells (CIGS & CdTe), and high-performance crystalline solar cells (PERC, HJT, IBC, HBC, TOPCon) and tandem solar cells:

  • Advanced vacuum thin-film coating (sputtering, evaporation, PECVD)
  • Wet chemical processes
  • Thermal processing (selenization, sulphurization)
  • Combination of thin-film and wafer technologies for the fabrication of top cells in crystalline → tandem solar cells

Future Cell Concepts:

Charge Carrier Selective Passivated Contacts

The concept of charge carrier selective passivated contacts, for example heterojunction or TOPCon solar cells, is the next logical step to increase conversion efficiency. Now by reducing or almost eliminating recombination losses of electrons and holes at the contacts (reducing rear side losses by introducing PERC brought cell efficiency already to the level of 21.5 %).

Reducing recombination at the contacts is achieved by introducing window layers that transport only one sort of carrier (+ or -) to it’s respective contact and keeping the other sort away. Those selective transport layers are typically realized by doped Si layers.

Future Cell Concepts:

Crystalline Heterojunction Technology (HJT)

Silicon-based heterojunction solar cells are a hot topic within crystalline silicon photovoltaic as it allows for solar cells with record-efficiency energy conversion above 23 %.

  • Junction formation and BSF by deposition of doped thin a-Si layer
  • Excellent passivation by high purity intrinsic a-Si layers high Voc
  • Better temperature coefficient Tc compared to standard cells higher energy yield

Future Cell Concepts:

TOPCon Solar Cells

Tunnel oxide passivated contacts (TOPCon Solar Cells) are based on an ultrathin tunnel oxide capped by a doped Si film exhibiting excellent passivation and contact properties. This cell design has so far resulted in efficiencies of up to 25.7 %.

  • Carrier selective, thin SiOx tunneloxide to passivate rear contact
  • Heavily doped pseudocrystalline Si transport layer
  • No rear side patterning required
  • Low contact resistance, high FF
  • One-dimensional flow of charge carriers
  • Tolerant to elevated temperatures during processing (no a-Si layers)

Future Cell Concepts:

IBC Solar Cells

Interdigitated back contact solar cells (IBC) or more general back contact/back junction solar cells (BJBC) are a sophisticated approach to avoid any front shading by relocating both, emitter and emitter contacts to the cell’s rear.

  • Both electrodes at rear side, no shading
  • High demands on material quality: Carriers must travel through complete wafer thickness
  • Excellent passivation required: Low front surface recombination velocity
  • Challenge: Defining and separating both polarities on same side

IBC solar cells rely mostly on traditional production methods and offer the potential to boost conversion efficiency to the level of 25 %.

Finally, combining the advantages of HJT (high Voc) and IBC (high Jsc) in Heterojunction Back Contact Cells (HBC), results in record high conversion efficiencies of 26.6 % for single junction c-Si based technologies.


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