Small pyramidal textured ultrathin crystalline silicon solar cells with double-layer passivation

Significance Statement

Over the past few decades, crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells have dominated the global photovoltaic market with above 90% share. Although the module cost has been reduced in the past tens of years, expensive cost is still a main obstacle for c-Si solar cells to compete over fossil-fuel based energy. At present, commercial c-Si solar cells are typically about 180 µm in thickness, however, the cost of the silicon material alone accounts for up to 40% of total module cost. Therefore, to develop ultrathin c-Si photovoltaics like less than 20 µm becomes an alternative technology roadmap to significantly drive down the costs with the advantage of more cost-effectiveness.

Recently, Wensheng Yan’s group reported highly efficient ultrathin c-Si solar cells, where the Si base thickness is as thin as 16 micrometers and the Si is on a thick conductive metal substrate. In this work, they adopt small pyramids for the front surface texture via the photovoltaic (PV) industry compatible chemical wet-etching method with the advantages of low cost and large-scale texturing. In addition, they use the double-layer passivation to reduce surface recombination and thereby achieve higher conversion efficiency. As a result, the best efficiency of 16.4% was reported. This research result shows a great potential for the PV industrial applications via the technology transferring.

“Small pyramidal textured ultrathin crystalline silicon solar cells with double-layer passivation

About The Author

Wensheng Yan is currently working at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology of Germany as a group leader of nanostructured photovoltaics. His current research interest includes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation silicon solar cells. He was the recipients of highly prestigious Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012) and Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers of Germany (2016). At present, he serves as regular reviewers for more than 20 international academic journals.

As part of international cooperation motivation, he is guest professors of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications of China and Three Gorges University of China, respectively, for the project cooperation in the area of photovoltaics.

About The Author

Xinyu Tan is currently a professor at College of Materials and Chemical Engineering, China Three Gorges University. She received her PhD in condensed physics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2008. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Tsinghua University and visiting scholar in Michigan University in 2012 and 2015.

His current research interest includes silicon and carbon based solar cells. She was the recipients of prestigious excellent postdoctoral fellow of Hubei Province (2016) and High-level Talents in the New Century of Hubei Province (2014). Her research interests include development of optoelectronics and solar cell materials and more than 100 papers have been published.


Xinyu Tan, Wensheng Yan*, Yiteng Tu, and Can Deng, “Small pyramidal textured ultrathin crystalline silicon solar cells with double-layer passivation”, Optics Express, 25, 14725 (2017).

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