Materials and Electronics Engineering

Texturing multicrystalline Si solar cell using self-assembly Ni nanoparticle masks

Huijuan Geng1, Yen-Chun Wu2, Ayra Jagadhamma Letha2, Ying Wang1, Yafei Zhang1*, Huey-Liang Hwang1, 2*

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1Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of Ministry of Education, Department of Micro/Nano Electronics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, PR China

2Department of Electrical Engineering and Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

Materials and Electronics Engineering 2015, 2:1

Publication Date (Web): February 2, 2015 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Figure 1 Process of RIE texturing multicrystalline Si wafer using self-assembly Ni nanoparticle masks.
Surface texturing is indispensable to reduce optical reflectivity for silicon solar cells. Reactive ion etching technique using self-assembly Ni nanoparticle masks has been successfully developed in this work to texture the front surface of the multicrystalline Si wafers. Ni nanoparticles were assembled on the wafer surface by annealing the Ni thin film at 900 °C, which played a dominative role in controlling the morphology of textured structure. Experimental results indicate that the surface structure of the RIE textured wafer is nanopillar array, and the reflectance is significantly reduced to below 2% in the range of wavelength from 400 nm to 1000 nm. Moreover, a damage-free Si surface was recovered by incorporating improved cleaning and damage removal treatment. And the efficiency of the best solar cell with HNO3 treatment can be improved from 8.60 to 12.01%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of using Ni particle masks for mutlicrystalline Si solar cell fabrication. 


Reactive ion etching, Ni nanoparticle masks, multicrystalline Si solar cell