- Published on 10 February 2015
Solar-cell efficiency depends on how thin it can be manufactured. Now, a new model exploits femtosecond laser sources to get higher efficiency at lower cost
The race for ever more efficient and cheaper solar cells tests the limits of manufacturing. To achieve this, photovoltaic solar cells need to become thinner and are made of more complex inner structures. Now, Italian scientists have investigated and expanded a model elucidating the dominant physical processes when ultra-fast lasers are used in manufacturing solar cells to these specifications. An article by Alberto Gurizzan and Paolo Villoresi from the University of Padova in Italy detailing this model has now been published in EPJ Plus.
The authors rely on ultra-fast lasers, to develop a process called ablation, used to allow the formation of the metal contacts. It involves selectively removing the upper dielectric layer of the photovoltaic cell material without damaging the semiconductor beneath. Compared to previous methods, it offers many advantages - it reduces heat damage while improving the precision, energy efficiency and speed of the process.
A. Gurizzan and P. Villoresi (2014), Ablation model for semiconductors and dielectrics under ultrafast laser pulses for solar cells micromachining, European Physical Journal Plus 130: 16, DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2015-15016-6