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Continuing their early partnership to introduce ion implantation into the mainstream PV fabrication flow, Suniva and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates (VSEA) are to collaborate on the development of implantation of boron in n-type solar cells. Suniva is targeting its ARTisun Star cell to approach 20% cell efficiencies in volume production in the first quarter of 2012.

“Ion implantation is an enabling technology for advancing the solar industry roadmap towards grid parity. Precise single-sided doping control, species flexibility and process simplification are key requirements for cost-effective, high-efficiency cell designs,” noted Jim Mullin, VP/GM of the Solar Business Unit at Varian.

Suniva recently revealed that ion implantation of phosphorous on its second generation ARTisun Select p-type wafers achieved 19% efficiency in volume production. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has already certified 20% plus efficiencies on several laboratory-scale cells that utilize Suniva’s advanced designs for ARTisun Star.

Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, Suniva founder and CTO said, “I fully expect Suniva will have even higher solar cell efficiencies verified in the near future as we execute on our clear development roadmap to eventually achieve 22% conversion efficiency.”

Suniva noted that a combination of boron implantation and precise patterned doping were critical steps in boosting cell efficiencies for high-volume manufacturing at competitive costing.