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Silicon solar cell with undoped tin oxide transparent electrode


Silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells are one of the most promising directions in the future photovoltaic industry. The limited supply of rare indium and the high cost of silver paste are among the most important problems that SHJ solar cells will face. To overcome the obstacle of indium-based transparent electrodes for efficient SHJ solar cells, here we successfully prepared cheap and mass-producible undoped tin oxide (SnOx) electrode materials by sputtering at room temperature. Taking advantage of its natural oxygen vacancy defect, the carrier mobility and resistivity of prepared materials reached 22 cm2 V−1 s−1 and 2.38 × 10−3 Ω cm, respectively. The SHJ solar cell with an undoped SnOx front transparent electrode demonstrated an efficiency of 24.91%. Furthermore, SnOx films have excellent chemical stability and can withstand corrosion by acid and alkali solutions during electroplating processes. Finally, SHJ solar cells with plating copper electrode and double-sided indium-based transparent electrodes halved were prepared, and a certified efficiency of 25.94% (total area of 274.4 cm2) was achieved.

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Fig. 1: Material properties of undoped SnOx films and application in SHJ solar cells.
Fig. 2: Material properties of IMO:H+SnOx bilayer film and application in SHJ solar cells.
Fig. 3: Chemical stability and low-cost efficient SHJ solar cells.

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All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the published article and its Supplementary Information. Source data are provided with the paper. Any additional information is available from corresponding authors upon request.


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We thank L. Lv, H. Wu, C. He, Y. Sun and H. Wu for sample fabrication and testing. X.Z. acknowledges financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. U21A2072 and 62274099) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nankai University). J.Z. and X.C. acknowledge financial support from the Carbon Emission Peak and Carbon Neutrality Special Fund of Jiangsu Province (BA2022205). We acknowledge Haihe Laboratory of Sustainable Chemical Transformations.

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Authors and Affiliations



These authors contributed equally: C.Y. and Q.Z. G.D. and X.Z. conceived and directed the overall project. C.Y. and G.D. fabricated all the devices and conducted the characterization. V.A. prepared electroplated copper electrodes and carried out related work. Q.Z. characterized and analysed the materials with the assistance of G.D. and X.Z. Q.Z., Y.Z., X.R., C.-W.P., Q.W., V.A., X.C. and J.Z. contributed to useful discussions. C.Y., Q.Z., G.D. and X.Z. wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Gangqiang Dong or Xiaodan Zhang.

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Competing interests

C.Y., Q.W., Y.Z., X.R., G.D., C.-W.P., X.C. and J.Z. are employees of Suzhou Maxwell Technologies Co., Ltd. V.A. is an employee of SunDrive Solar Pty., Ltd. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature Energy thanks Martin Bivour and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–16, Tables 1–14 and References.

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Supplementary Data 1

Source data for Supplementary Fig. 3.

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Source data for Supplementary Fig. 9.

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Source Data Fig. 1

Optical characteristics, Tauc plot, XRD, XPS, PL and JV data.

Source Data Fig. 2

XPS, electrical characteristics, J–V and EQE data.

Source Data Fig. 3

Photovoltaic parameter data.

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Yu, C., Zou, Q., Wang, Q. et al. Silicon solar cell with undoped tin oxide transparent electrode. Nat Energy 8, 1119–1125 (2023).

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