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Beyond boron–oxygen deactivation: Industrially feasible LID-free p-type Czochralski silicon

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By Bianca Lim; Agnes Merkle; Robby Peibst; Thorsten Dullweber; Yichun Wang; Rui Zhou

Today’s industry-standard B-doped monocrystalline silicon still suffers from light-induced degradation (LID) of the carrier lifetime. Illumination at elevated temperatures leads to a so-called regeneration, i.e. a recovery of both the carrier lifetime and the solar cell efficiency. However, even though the carrier lifetime on test wafers increases from about 1ms after processing to 3ms after regeneration, the corresponding PERC+ cell efficiencies in both states are identical; possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed in this paper.

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With a recent spate of new solar cell records announced for PERC-based architectures pushing conversion efficiencies past 24%, it is a good time to reflect on the pioneering work at SolarWorld – the first to commercialise and ramp PERC to volume production. A special in-depth paper from former members of SolarWorld’s R&D and manufacturing team should be a compelling read and a leading reference paper in the future. Adding to the PERC-based theme is the paper from ISC Konstanz, providing further real world insight into achieving manufacturability of nPERT cells with conversion efficiencies approaching 23%.

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