Manufacturing 100-μm-thick silicon solar cells with efficiencies greater than 20% in a pilot production line

Barbara Terheiden*, Tabitha Ballmann, Renate Horbelt, Yvonne Schiele, Sabine Seren, Jan Ebser, G. Hahn, Verena Mertens, Max B. Koentopp, Maximilian Scherff, Jörg W. Müller, Zachary C. Holman, Antoine Descoeudres, Stefaan De Wolf, Silvia Martin De Nicolas, Jonas Geissbuehler, Christophe Ballif, Bernd Weber, Pierre Saint-Cast, Michael RauerChristian Schmiga, Stefan W. Glunz, Dominique J. Morrison, Stephen Devenport, Danilo Antonelli, Chiara Busto, Federico Grasso, Francesca Ferrazza, Elisa Tonelli, Wolfgang Oswald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Reducing wafer thickness while increasing power conversion efficiency is the most effective way to reduce cost per Watt of a silicon photovoltaic module. Within the European project 20 percent efficiency on less than 100-μm-thick, industrially feasible crystalline silicon solar cells ("20plms"), we study the whole process chain for thin wafers, from wafering to module integration and life-cycle analysis. We investigate three different solar cell fabrication routes, categorized according to the temperature of the junction formation process and the wafer doping type: p-type silicon high temperature, n-type silicon high temperature and n-type silicon low temperature. For each route, an efficiency of 19.5% or greater is achieved on wafers less than 100 μm thick, with a maximum efficiency of 21.1% on an 80-μm-thick wafer. The n-type high temperature route is then transferred to a pilot production line, and a median solar cell efficiency of 20.0% is demonstrated on 100-μm-thick wafers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


  • High efficiency
  • Pilot production
  • Silicon
  • Solar cells
  • Thin wafers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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