Highly Conformal Ni Micromesh as a Current Collecting Front Electrode for Reduced Cost Si Solar Cell

Nikita Gupta, K. D. M. Rao, Ritu Gupta, Frederik C Krebs, Giridhar U. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Despite relatively high manufacturing cost, crystalline-Si solar cell continues to hold promising future due to its high energy conversion efficiency and long life. As regards cost, one pertinent issue is the top electrode metallization of textured cell surface, which typically involves screen printing of silver paste. The associated disadvantages call for alternative methods that can lower the cost without compromising the solar cell efficiency. In the present work, a highly interconnected one-dimensional (1D) metal wire network has been employed as front electrode on conventional Si wafers. Here, for the first time, we report an innovative solution based crackle templating method for conformal metal wire network patterning over large textured surfaces. Laser beam induced current mapping showed uniform photocurrent collection by the electrodes without any shadow losses. With electroless deposition of Ni wire network on corrugated solar cell, a short circuit current of 33.28 mA/cm2 was obtained in comparison to 20.53 mA/cm2 without the network electrode. On comparing the efficiency with the conventional cells with screen printed electrodes, a 20% increment in efficiency has been observed. Importantly, the estimated manufacturing cost is at least two orders lower.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)8634-8640
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Si solar cell
  • Crackle lithography
  • Photovoltaics
  • Solution process
  • Top contact metallization


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