Electroplated Al as the front electrode in crystalline-Si solar cells

Wen Cheng Sun, Haifeng Zhang, Laidong Wang, Clarence J. Tracy, Meng Tao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


This paper reports aluminum (Al) electroplating as the metallization technique for the front finger electrode on n-type silicon (Si) in crystalline-Si solar cells. The development of the Al electroplating process is motivated by the limited reserves of silver (Ag) on this planet and the industry-wide push to reduce Ag usage for cost control. The new metallization process consists of: 1) patterning the silicon nitride (SiNx) layer for front electrode; 2) depositing a nickel (Ni) seed layer into the opening; 3) electroplating self-aligned Al onto the Ni seed layer and 4) annealing the Al/Ni electrode in air at ∼200°C. This temperature is far below the typical firing temperatures for commercial Al pastes. The new metallization process has been integrated into commercial p-type monocrystalline Si solar cells from Hareon Solar. An all-Al Si solar cell, with an electroplated Al front electrode and a screen-printed Al back electrode, has been demonstrated. The cell has a size of 2.54×2.54 cm2, with efficiencies approaching 15% demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781479979448
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015
Event42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 19 2015


Other42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • aluminum
  • electroplating
  • metallization
  • silicon solar cell
  • silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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