A reduction in silicon material consumption in the photovoltaic industry is required for cost reduction. Using crystalline silicon wafers of less than 120 microns of thickness is a promising way for cost and material reduction in the solar cell production. The standard thickness of crystalline silicon solar cells is currently around 180 microns. If the wafers are thinner than 100 microns in the silicon solar cells, the amount of silicon will be reduced by almost half, which should result in prominent cost reduction. With this aim, many groups have worked with thin crystalline silicon wafers. However, most of them have studied with small size substrates. In this paper, we present the electrical characteristics for thin single crystalline silicon solar cells of 100 and 115 μm thickness and 156×156 mm2 area manufactured through a conventional process. We have achieved 17.2% conversion efficiency with a 115 μm silicon substrate and 16.8% with a 100 μm substrate. This enables the commercialization of the thin crystalline silicon solar cells with high conversion efficiency. We also suggest issues to be solved in thin crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturing.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Research (No. B3-2412) and by the New & Renewable Energy Technology Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Korea (Project No. 20113020010090).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry