Description of field of research

Currently, silver is the most critical material for solar cell metallization. However, many previous studies have highlighted that the current silver consumption is too high to allow sustainable terawatt-scale production. This project targets development and optimization of a low-cost and high-efficiency all Aluminum metallization for silicon cell technology, which can ideally be applied to various Si cells structures, passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC), tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon), and silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cells. If Ag contacts are replaced with Al contacts with the same pitch, shading-related issues may happen given Al contacts are generally wider (100µm) than Ag contacts (30µm). If the pitch is made wider to reduce shading, lateral resistance may be prominent. Hence, the challenge is to identify processes to lower the metallization/finger width to below 50µm. Furthermore, a lower finger width adds on to greater contact resistance which will increase the metal-silicon recombination current (J0). The student will work with world-leading Al paste supplier/developer, and leading solar module manufacturer to reduce Al-paste linewidth, J0, resistivity and optimize cross-sectional geometry.

Research Area

Photovoltaics | Materials science and engineering

The student will work in a very supportive and collaborative environment, that he/she will be supervised by internationally recognized UNSW researchers in the field. Our group provides an open and friendly environment where people feel comfortable to share their opinion and show openness to the viewpoints of others.

The student will gain understanding of present capabilities of solar cell manufacturing and learn necessary processing and characterisation techniques for the state-of-the-art solar cell technologies.