altImec (Leuven, Belgium) has produced large-area (70cm2) epitaxial solar cells with efficiencies of up to 16.3% on high-quality substrates.

Efficiencies of up to 14.7% were also achieved on large-area low-quality substrates, showing the potential of thin-film epitaxial solar cells for industrial manufacturing. The results were achieved within Imec’s silicon solar cell industrial affiliation program (IIAP) that explores and develops advanced process technologies aiming at a sharp reduction in silicon use, whilst increasing cell efficiency. Besides wafer-based bulk silicon solar cells, Imec aims at developing epitaxial thin-film (<20μm) silicon solar cells grown on low-cost silicon carriers within its silicon solar cell IIAP.

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