A laser contact process is employed to form contact holes to emitters of a solar cell. Doped silicon nanoparticles are formed over a substrate of the solar cell. The surface of individual or clusters of silicon nanoparticles is coated with a nanoparticle passivation film. Contact holes to emitters of the solar cell are formed by impinging a laser beam on the passivated silicon nanoparticles. For example, the laser contact process may be a laser ablation process. In that case, the emitters may be formed by diffusing dopants from the silicon nanoparticles prior to forming the contact holes to the emitters. As another example, the laser contact process may be a laser melting process whereby portions of the silicon nanoparticles are melted to form the emitters and contact holes to the emitters.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The invention described herein was made with Governmental support under contract number DE-FC36-07GO17043 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in the invention.