High mechanical strength thin HIT solar cells with graphene back contact

Shih-Chun Lin*, Parag Parashar, Chih Chieh Yang, Wei Ming Huang, Yi Wen Huang, Ding Rung Jian, Ming Hsuan Kao, Shi Wei Chen, Chang Hong Shen, Jia Min Shieh, Tseung-Yuen Tseng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


It is widely known that thinner Si substrate is the main path for lower $/Watt HIT solar cells due to improved charge collection, reduced bulk and total recombination, and fewer raw material consumption (Panasonic, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics., vol. 4, p. 96, 2014). Nonetheless, thin substrates always lead to low mechanical stability and wafer breaking. In this work, spray coated 50 nm graphene layer is used as the back electrode in Si HIT solar cells to enhance the mechanical stability. With the incorporation of graphene as the back electrode in Si HIT solar cells, remarkable improvements in substrate mechanical strength are achieved. Without the degradation of HIT solar cell efficiency, hardness is increased nearly twofold from 902 to 1747 HV. The Young's modulus is increased from 93.9 to 140.1 GPa while the ultimate tensile strength is increased from 96.71 to 273.68 MPa. Low-cost chemical exfoliation method and low-temperature (150 °C) spray coating method have been employed for the preparation and deposition of thin graphene back electrode, respectively. In addition, unlike the graphene as the substitute for ITO in OLED applications, the graphene strengthened thin silicon substrate technology here imposes no additional constraint on the graphene electrode transparency since it is used as a back electrode. We, thereby, believe that our proposed method is effective for attaining higher efficiency and lower $/Watt thin Si HIT solar cell technology with enhanced mechanical strength.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8030057
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Optoelectronic materials
  • inorganic materials.
  • photovoltaics
  • semiconductor materials

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