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Electrical isolation of component cells in monolithically interconnected modules

United States Patent

6,239,354
May 29, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A monolithically interconnected photovoltaic module having cells which are electrically connected which comprises a substrate, a plurality of cells formed over the substrate, each cell including a primary absorber layer having a light receiving surface and a p-region, formed with a p-type dopant, and an n-region formed with an n-type dopant adjacent the p-region to form a single pn-junction, and a cell isolation diode layer having a p-region, formed with a p-type dopant, and an n-region formed with an n-type dopant adjacent the p-region to form a single pn-junction, the diode layer intervening the substrate and the absorber layer wherein the absorber and diode interfacial regions of a same conductivity type orientation, the diode layer having a reverse-breakdown voltage sufficient to prevent inter-cell shunting, and each cell electrically isolated from adjacent cells with a vertical trench trough the pn-junction of the diode layer, interconnects disposed in the trenches contacting the absorber regions of adjacent cells which are doped an opposite conductivity type, and electrical contacts.
Wanlass; Mark W. (Golden, CO)
Midwest Research Institute (Kansas City, MI)
09/ 416,016
October 8, 1999
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC36-99GO10337 between the United States Department of Energy and the Midwest Research Institute.