The DOE press release for the Sunshot Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2) awardees has been announced. Working with Prof. Mariana Bertoni and Prof. Aytekin Gel, we received an award to advance photovoltaic cell metallization using reactive inks.
We expect this technology to reduce the amount of silver used to metallize photovoltaic cells by 90% (from 100 mg/cell currently to 10 mg/cell). This means we will surpass the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic Results (ITRPV) 2026 metallization goal by a factor of 4 – they are targeting 40 mg/cell by 2026 and we will deliver 10 mg/cell! This could save photovoltaics industry over $9 billion/year in reduced metallization costs. Additionally, this technology will reduce the metallization temperature from >500 ˚C to less than 100 ˚C. This low metallization temperature not only supports current generation photovoltaic cells, but also next generation technologies – such as heterojunction cells and perovskite thin films.
Project Name: Direct Metallization with Reactive Inks – Assessment of Reliability and Process Sensitivities
Location: Tempe, AZ
SunShot Award Amount: $1,400,000
Awardee Cost Share: $155,601
Principal Investigator: Owen Hildreth
Project Summary: This project is investigating the material and growth properties of reactive metal inks in order to explore their potential use in the metallization of silicon solar cell. The research team seeks to radically change the cost structure of the cell by dramatically reducing silver consumption. This technique is of particular importance to temperature sensitive devices, such as heterojunction architectures, where the low processing temperatures of reactive inks offer a significant advantage and alternative metallization methods are currently expensive.