Contact holes of solar cells are formed by laser ablation to accommodate various solar cell designs. Use of a laser to form the contact holes is facilitated by replacing films formed on the diffusion regions with a film that has substantially uniform thickness. Contact holes may be formed to deep diffusion regions to increase the laser ablation process margins. The laser configuration may be tailored to form contact holes through dielectric films of varying thicknesses.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The invention described herein was made with Governmental support under contract number DE-FC36-07G017043 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in the invention.