SBIR Phase I: Towards Thin Film Solar Cells Through Topdown Aluminum Induced Metallization (TAIC) Providing 12% Module Efficiency

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1047296
Agency Tracking Number: 1047296
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Silicon Solar Solutions
700 Research Center Blvd., Fayetteville, AR, 72701-0000
DUNS: 004956786
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas Hutchings
 (501) 339-1110
Business Contact
 Douglas Hutchings
Title: PhD
Phone: (501) 339-1110
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to use a new top-down Aluminum Induced Crystallization (TAIC) technology to create thin-film silicon solar modules with over 12% efficiency. First, large-grain crystallization of hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film with thicknesses needed for solar cells will be obtained using TAIC. Second, the doping of resultant films to suitable levels by annealing samples in an atomic hydrogen environment will be studied. It is expected to create over 12% efficiency thin-film solar modules with low temperatures (less than 300 degree Celsius) required. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to provide a method for thin-film silicon solar cell manufacturers to effectively improve the energy conversion efficiency with minimal additional cost. The limited efficiencies of amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells curtail their market adoption. While polycrystalline silicon solar cells have the highest potential of any thin-film silicon option, the manufacturability is still a concern. Current crystallization process requires temperatures in excess of 550 degree Celsius for over 20 hours. In this project, TAIC technology will be utilized to eliminate these disadvantages to manufacturing by creating very large-grain polycrystalline silicon thin films at low temperatures and in a short time (minutes).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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