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  • Heterojunction Solar Cell Breakthrough Realized
Jun 2012
TOKYO, June 15, 2012 — A 6-in. semi-square heterojunction silicon solar cell with a power conversion efficiency of 22.68 percent has been developed by Kaneka and imec at the Kaneka Osaka lab, the companies reported.

The solar cell breakthrough, which was certified by the Fraunhofer ISE CalLab, features an electroplated copper contact grid on top of the transparent conductive oxide layer.

Using electroplated copper to create the top electrode in heterojunction silicon solar cells is more efficient and cost-effective than traditional silver screen printing technology.

“We are excited that we could support Kaneka in developing [these] breakthrough results,” said Jef Poortmans, director of photovoltaic technologies at imec. “They prove the capabilities of copper metallization for next-generation solar cells and strengthen our belief that in the future, copper will play an important role in high efficiency and sustainable solar cell technology.”

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solar cell
A device for converting sunlight into electrical energy, consisting of a sandwich of P-type and N-type semiconducting wafers. A photon with sufficient energy striking the cell can dislodge an electron from an atom near the interface of the two crystal types. Electrons released in this way, collected at an electrode, can constitute an electrical current.
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