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A2.05 - In-Situ Characterization of PV Materials during Rapid Thermal Processing 
April 22, 2014   11:45am - 12:00pm

Rapid thermal processing is widely used manufacturing process in the photovoltaic (PV) industry. However, the processing parameters have evolved empirically over time, mainly due to lack of understanding about the actual phase formation mechanisms during the processing which occurs in short time scales of few seconds to minutes. For example, the Ag-Si contact formation begins with printing a mixture of an Ag powder, glass frit (mixture of metal oxide such as PbO, BO, ZnO and BiO) and an organic binder over the antireflection coating which is subsequently fired up to about 800 °C. It is known that the frit allows the paste to react with and burn through the anti-reflective coating such that the metal can react with underlying c-Si during firing. However, the precise phase transformations between Ag, Si, SiNx, and frit constituents, which happens within few seconds (typically <10 s) during RTP, giving rise to optimal Ag-Si contacts are not well understood. While there are several proposed mechanisms for Ag-Si cell contact formation during rapid thermal processing, there is no in-situ characterization in the actual processing conditions. We have established a rapid thermal processing/X-ray diffraction/fluorescence (RTP/XRD-XRF) facility, where we are able to monitor and characterize the Ag-Si cell contact formation with a time resolution of a fraction of a second. The facility utilizes the intense synchrotron X-ray source to gather structural and chemical information while material is being processed. We utilize a large fast area detector with few ms time resolution to gather a large solid angle diffracted beams, while an energy dispersive vortex detector for in-situ chemical analysis.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis