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Silicon solar cells made by a self-aligned, selective-emitter, plasma-etchback process

United States Patent

5,871,591
February 16, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A potentially low-cost process for forming and passivating a selective emitter. The process uses a plasma etch of the heavily doped emitter to improve its performance. The grids of the solar cell are used to mask the plasma etch so that only the emitter in the region between the grids is etched, while the region beneath the grids remains heavily doped for low contact resistance. This process is potentially low-cost because it requires no alignment. After the emitter etch, a silicon nitride layer is deposited by plasma-enhanced, chemical vapor deposition, and the solar cell is annealed in a forming gas.
Ruby; Douglas S. (Albuquerque, NM), Schubert; William K. (Albuquerque, NM), Gee; James M. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 742,378
November 1, 1996
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.