Screen-printing metallization for large-area heterojunction solar cells

Meer dan twee weken geleden

Optimize the metallization on tomorrows heterojunction solar cells

Crystalline silicon solar cells are the driver of the photovoltaic industry, having a market share of about 85% of the world energy production of solar cells. This success is the result of a low levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for crystalline silicon, which is mainly attributed to: i) long lifetimes, ii) low PV module production costs, and iii) high efficiencies. Heterojunction solar cells are ideal candidates to even further lower the LCOE, where particular appeal lies in higher degrees of efficiency at a lower production cost. One of the focus points within imec’s solar research is to develop and implement new process steps for heterojunction solar cells. Such new process developments have already been demonstrated on small-scale heterojunction solar cells (2x2 cm2 and 5x5 cm2). Yet, the upscaling for such new process steps towards full size 6 inch solar cells is to be executed in a next research phase. The focus of this master’s thesis will be the upscaling of the metallization process towards 6 inch heterojunction solar cells, which is mostly done by screen printing. The student will start with a profound literature research to better understand metallization mechanisms for (heterojunction) solar cells. Next, with the solar cell materials, architecture and performance in mind, the student will propose and model different grid layouts and optimize them towards lower cost (minimal Ag consumption) and higher performance (minimal resistive losses). Once the optimal layouts are indicated, the student will effectively screen print his/her design in the lab and characterize them to validate and adjust the model accordingly. The project will initially get started at imo-imomec, Diepenbeek (a Hasselt University lab affiliated with imec). As from Q1 2021, the experiments and equipment will be moved to EnergyVille, Genk. The student(s) will have to travel to imec Leuven sporadically for training, sample preparation, etc.

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis, Internship, Thesis

Duration: 1 or 2 semesters

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Energy, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Electromechanical engineering, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Jorne Carolus (

Only for self-supporting students.

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