Optimization of nickel seed layer for perc plating metallization

Korkmaz Arslan, Melisa
One of the significant contributors to the costs of solar cell fabrication lies in the metallization process. Escalating prices of silver for front-side metal contacts have presented challenges to cost-effective production. To address this, alternative, costefficient metal contacts with compatible performance have gained momentum. This study proposes Ni/Cu/Ag plated metal contacts as a viable alternative for front-side metalization of solar cells. Incorporating a Ni seed layer is pivotal as a barrier, effectively eliminating the diffusion of Cu. A paramount objective is establishing a uniform and effective Ni seed layer regarding low contact resistivity. Sequentially, Ni seed layer formation is followed by the deposition of a Cu conductive layer and an Ag capping layer. These strategic steps collectively aim to provide a front metal contact for industrially feasible Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) cell production. The resultant samples exhibit a low contact resistivity comparable to the standard screen-printed Ag metallization approach. Consequently, with optimized Ni seed layer deposition and annealing parameters, contact resistance ofapproximately 8 mΩ/cm is achieved for Ni/Cu/Ag plated PERC solar cells, accompanied by an efficiency level of >16% by pilot scale industrial production approach.
Citation Formats
M. Korkmaz Arslan, “Optimization of nickel seed layer for perc plating metallization,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.