A proven means to improve the efficiency of crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell wafers is surface passivation by atomic layer deposition (ALD). Passivation of the surface enhances the overall cell efficiency by prolonging the charge-carrier effective lifetime.
Both the production volume and the share of PERC cells of the total solar cell market are expected to increase significantly during the next few years. With the fast new ALD processes and the latest thin film equipment that brings the production cost down, rear surface passivation of solar cells is becoming one of the fastest growing ALD application areas.
ALD-based passivation layers can also be used in many other industry areas, for example in energy storage for enhancing Li-ion batteries with diffusion barriers.