C-Si Thin-Film on Foreign Substrates

Our group has researched the topic of crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on foreign substrates for over 15 years. During this time, we have been able to build comprehensive knowledge of substrate materials such as silicon nitride, silicon carbide, zirconium silicate, graphite and tantalum oxide, as well as the methods of manufacturing them (casting, pressing, etc).

However, work has focused primarily on developing suitable systems for depositing and recrystallizing silicon and barrier layers. As a result, today we have a high throughput atmospheric pressure vapor deposition system (ProConCVD) capable of depositing both fine crystalline silicon and silicon carbide as well as epitaxial silicon on an industrial scale.

Manufacturing solar cells from these thin, crystalline silicon layers (<30 µm) has led us to the most diverse solar cell and module concepts, ranging from recrystallized wafer equivalents (RexWE), with efficiencies to date reaching 13.5 %, to silicon film technologies with efficiency potentials higher than 20 % that are applied to foreign substrates using transfer technology.

Main areas of research focus:

  • Substrate cleaning
  • Encapsulation and coating
  • Zone melting
  • Solar cell and module concepts
  • Solar cell processes for c-Si thin-film solar cells (texturing, metallization, passivation)
  • Clean room solar cell processing line for solar cells up to 125 x 125 mm²


Labs and equipment:

  • Optically heated furnaces
  • Lab-model zone melting system (ZMR100)
  • Inline zone melting system (ZMR400con)