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Fire-Through Ag Contact Formation for Crystalline Si Solar Cells Using Single-Step Inkjet Printing

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Inkjet-printed Ag metallization is a promising method of forming front-side contacts on Si solar cells due to its non-contact printing nature and fine grid resolution. However, conventional Ag inks are unable to punch through the SiN x anti-reflection coating (ARC) layer on emitter Si surfaces. In this study, a novel formulation of Ag ink is examined for the formation of fire-through contacts on a SiN x -coated Si substrate using the single-step printing of Ag ink, followed by rapid thermal annealing at 800 °C. In order to formulate Ag inks with fire-through contact formation capabilities, a liquid etching agent was first formulated by dissolving metal nitrates in an organic solvent and then mixing the resulting solution with a commercial Ag nanoparticle ink at various volume ratios. During the firing process, the dissolved metal nitrates decomposed into metal oxides and acted in a similar manner to the glass frit contained in Ag pastes for screen-printed Ag metallization. The newly formulated ink with a 1 wt% loading ratio of metal oxides to Ag formed finely distributed Ag crystallites on the Si substrate after firing at 800 °C for 1 min.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2012

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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