Optimizing Solar Cells, One Chemical At A Time

The solar energy transition is underway. As the industry reaches toward grid parity, chemical processing will deliver the cost, processing and efficiency advantages to get us there. MacDermid Enthone, a world leader in specialty chemicals, brings cutting-edge innovation and world-renowned technical service excellence to your facilities, anywhere, anytime. Our chemical processes enable the efficiency gains you need to win the brightest of futures.

 

Vision

Solar energy provides the most elegant solution to meet the world's power needs. Completely renewable, perfectly clean, globally available, and based on silicon - a low cost, readily available element - solar power will be the answer to the energy demands and environmental goals of the coming generations. The limitation so far has been cost. Even as solar power has been proven in space applications, by environmentalists, and in off-grid isolated locations, solar electricity represents less than one percent of energy consumption. So far, the high cost has been the result of two key factors - material expense and sub-optimal efficiency. MacDermid Enthone Photovoltaics works to improve both.

MacDermid Enthone's passion, has been to deliver innovative specialty chemicals to industrial manufacturing, in the pursuit of making products better in a more efficient manner. Liquid chemicals are easy to transport, easy to apply, easy to analyze, and far less expensive than other treatment technologies. MacDermid Enthone possesses expert knowledge in all the key areas needed to optimize the photovoltaics industry - imaging, cleaning, etching, metal plating, organic coating, nanostructuring, and printing.

MacDermid Enthone's Photovoltaics can enable a lower cost per watt for today's technology. For newer silicon cell designs, MacDermid Enthone's imaging and etching processes open high-resolution patterns through anti-reflective coatings, for elimination of sintered silver paste. Our metal seed layers have world-leading control and thickness uniformity for optimum contact to active silicon. Metal conductors will extract electrons using highly conductive solid metals, deposited using electroless, electrolytic, or light-induced immersion deposition technologies. The result: best efficiencies with less shadowing and low stress; all enabling the use of the thinnest silicon wafers.

"The standard method for conductor formation on silicon solar cells is too wasteful, too expensive, and too restrictive for really widespread deployment of solar cells on the world's rooftops. We need to make the same leaps in technology that the circuit board and semiconductor industries have made time and time again. We need the elegant design of plated metal conductors. The superior contact, improved adhesion, soldering predictability, and excellent conductivity of a nickel, copper, silver conductor will allow the strong, consistent, cost-effective cells that will change our planet's thinking about energy."

That is our way of providing value - we innovate efficient cost-effective processes and support our customers with expert technical service. Because we understand; to make the world a better place, solar energy products need to be manufactured better, at an overall lower cost, more easy to use, and with predictable long-term functionality.

Pattern and Etching

Use of thinner silicon allows for the lowest cost crystalline cells, but requires off-contact conductor formation. Inkjet resist, followed by fast chemical etching, is the most productive and cost-competitive patterning method. Our UV resist enables dramatic finger width resolution, for a 75% reduction in shadowing; a significant advantage for your customers.

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Plated Metal Conductors

Plated metal conductors significantly out-perform sintered paste for conductivity, allowing finger width reductions to 25 microns or less. Select from electroless or electrolytic processing to achieve up to 1.5% increases (absolute) in cell efficiency compared to conventional cell manufacture, all at a reduced overall cost. The chemical deposition is compatible with laser and etch-resist techniques for exposing silicon through the anti-reflective coating.

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Solderable Finishes

Your cell's solderable finish represents your connection to the outside world - each of the cell's electrons needs to be transmitted through the conductor to the module strings without loss and achieving maximum consistency. MacDermid Enthone's Helios series of finishing metals provides long-term prevention of conductor oxides, allowing for easy soldering with any flux system and solder alloy. Each product allows superior functionality for front or rear side plating and can be used with conductive paste contacts. Your cells work hard to generate electricity; don't waste a single electron! Demand performance from the world leader in solderable surface finishes, MacDermid Enthone.

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Assembly Products for Photovoltaics

Alpha, the global expert in solder interconnect technology, can provide you with the right set of materials, as well as, guidance to help you optimize your assembly process. The result: high throughput, high yield production and high efficiency, high reliability solar modules. Connect with Alpha for: Liquid Tabbing & Stringing Fluxes, Solder Wire, Solder Paste, and Solder Preforms.

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