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DuPont Microcircuit Materials Presents New Solamet® Materials and Innovative Process Technologies to Enable Future Growth in Photovoltaics

Industry Goal to Exceed 20 Percent Efficiency Within Reach by 2012



Bookmark and Share Contact: Ellen Pressley
919-248-5598
ellen.g.pressley@usa.dupont.com 

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 6, 2010 – DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) has developed a roadmap of proposed technology options to help enable the industry goal for conversion efficiency of crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells beyond 20 percent by 2012.  This will be made possible through innovative material and process technology improvements of leading DuPont™ Solamet® brand photovoltaic metallization pastes.  With several new Solamet® products in its development pipeline, DuPont continues to put science to work by increasing the efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic cells and modules, lowering total system costs, and driving to reach grid parity faster.

“In the race toward higher efficiency, both evolutionary and revolutionary changes are needed to win,” said Peter Brenner, global marketing manager, photovoltaics - DuPont Microcircuit Materials.  “New photovoltaic metallization pastes are evolving now, and the development of more revolutionary metallization technologies ahead is key to achieving the industry goal of greater than 20 percent efficiency within the next couple of years.”

DuPont expects that a number of new Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes will be developed and made available to enhance the efficiency of solar cells and help the industry reach its conversion efficiency goals.  The recently introduced Solamet® PV16x series frontside silver paste system, which has set the standard in the industry due to its ability to increase efficiency by up to 0.4 percent, is an example of what will become an expanding portfolio of anticipated new offerings that will include:

  • DuPont™ Solamet® next generation frontside silver pastes, which are formulated to deliver higher efficiency performance through improved contact and series resistance.  These new products, which the company anticipates introducing late in the year, are designed to be compatible with high-speed printing processes, robust in processing, and fine line patterning. 
  • Next generation lead-free* Solamet® front side silver pastes - offering more attractive formulation properties without compromising performance.
  • Solamet® photovoltaic metallizations for double printing - developed to maximize efficiency of the solar cell by enabling narrower and taller grid lines to be precisely printed in two or more layers, reducing the shadowing effect of wide grid lines on solar cells and improving electrical conductivity.
  • Solamet® pastes for Non-contact Patterning – delivering higher aspect ratios through extrusion or other novel non-contact methods, and enabling the use of thin wafers (<180µm) without imparting mechanical stress.
  • Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes for local back surface field (BSF) contact - a revolutionary new cell architecture for rear side passivated crystalline silicon solar cell designs that outperforms conventional aluminum compositions by delivering up to 0.8 percent greater conversion efficiency for solar cells when used in local contact designs.
  • Solamet® materials enabling Metal Wrap Through - a specialized cell structure that transfers the bus bars on the frontside to the backside which reduces shading on the frontside of the cell. The connections are made through holes in the silicon with the same composition as the bus bars.
  • Solamet® conductors for n-type silicon that offer significantly higher capacity for efficiency than p-type silicon.

It is expected that many of these technologies can be combined to optimize efficiency for the future.  Conductors enabled with future generation Solamet® formulations for n-type silicon, combined with metal wrap through and non-contact printed fingers on the frontside could potentially reach 22-24 percent efficiency by 2015, which could represent a significant cost savings for the industry, and help make photovoltaic power more cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation.

Peter Brenner will deliver a presentation outlining this technology roadmap, titled, “Metallization Solutions for c-Si Next Generation Technology” as part of the Exhibitor's Forum on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, at 3:20 - 3:40 p.m. at the upcoming 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (25th EU PVSEC), September 6 – 10, 2010, at the Feria Valencia in Valencia, Spain.

Photovoltaic Metallization Technology Roadmap
High resolution version )

DuPont Microcircuit Materials has over 40 years of experience in the development, manufacture, sale, and support of specialized thick film compositions for a wide variety of electronic applications in the photovoltaic, display, automotive, biomedical, industrial, military, and telecommunications markets.  For more information on DuPont Microcircuit Materials and Solamet® metallization pastes, please visit http://mcm.dupont.com.

DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallizations are part of a broad and growing portfolio of products represented by DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions (DPVS), which connects science and technology from across the company on a global scale to help support the dramatic growth in the photovoltaic industry.  To learn more, please visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.

DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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