New Course - Science and Technology of Solar Cell Fabrication

Spring Session B 2014

This course will focus on the science and technology involved in the manufacturing of solar cells and will provide students with an introduction to important manufacturing concepts such as device design, yields, throughput, process optimisation, reliability, in-line quality control and fault diagnosis. In this class, students will learn about: (i) the fabrication processes of the commercially-dominant screen-printed solar cells; (ii) the impact of various processing and device parameters on performance, yields and product reliability; and (iii) in-line, endof-line and failure-analysis quality control techniques, and (iv) trends in commercial cell technology and the corresponding manufacturing processes. Students will be given the opportunity to take control of a "virtual solar cell production line" to adjust the equipment controls and processing parameters to try and optimise performance and maximise virtual production yields. In-line quality control procedures are available to the student to aid in this optimisation and will prove to be particularly useful in identifying and rectifying weaknesses or problems associated with the production.

Learning Objectives of This Course:

  1. Understand the basic physical and chemical theories underlying fabrication processes used in the commercial manufacture of silicon solar cells;
  2. Apply this understanding to the optimization of solar cell production lines;
  3. Analyze solar cell performance and losses through the use of common in-line, end-of-line and failure analysis testing and characterization techniques;
  4. Use an experimental methodology and apply important manufacturing concepts such as device performance, yield, throughput, quality control to the optimization of solar cell production lines; and
  5. Develop an awareness of emerging solar cell technologies.


More details on the course