The SiliconPV conference aims to be the most scientifically distinguished international conference in the field of crystalline silicon photovoltaics. It was initiated in 2011 by renowned European research institutes, between which the conference venue also rotates. After having hosted the conference in 2013, ISFH wanted to welcome the scientific community in Hamelin again in 2021. Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic made a conference in attendance impossible. Nevertheless, the organizing committee was able to realize a top-class scientific program – which can be accessed by registered participants on the virtual conference platform for the next weeks. The personal exchange, e.g. in the context of a pub quiz, as well as the guided tours through the laboratories of the ISFH and the LNQE of the Leibniz Universität Hannover, were also realized virtually. More than 300 participants* thus made the best of the current situation and experienced a pleasant and inspiring conference.
Every year at the SiliconPV conference the 10 best submitted abstracts are awarded with the SiliconPV Award. The evaluation of the abstracts is based on a double anonymous review process, in which each contribution is evaluated by several international scientists without knowledge of the authors. This year, three of these prizes went to ISFH staff members, for which we congratulate them!
This year’s winners from ISFH are Christina Hollemann, Nils Folchert and Michael Winter.
Christina Hollemann and Nils Folchert were awarded for their contributions “Influence of Firing on the Interface State Density of n-Type Poly-Si Passivating Contacts” and “Easy-to-Apply Contact Resistance Measurements of the Interfacial Oxide in Poly-Si/SiOx/c-Si Junctions – Revisiting the Cox & Strack Formula”. Michael Winter’s paper “Understanding Light-Induced Degradation Effects in Ga-doped Cz-Si and B-doped FZ-Si Materials” was even selected as one of 4 keynote talks at the conference.
Christina Hollemann studied physics at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen and joined ISFH as a PhD student in 2017. Her current research focuses on how passivating contacts – which could significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells – can be integrated into industrial manufacturing processes. In particular, the high-temperature process required after the metal contacts are applied interacts with the passivated surfaces in a way that has not been scientifically understood to date. Ms. Hollemann’s work advances this understanding, thus increasing the possibility of process optimization and ultimately contributing to cost-effectively manufactured and highly efficient solar cells.
Nils Folchert also studied physics at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen and joined ISFH as a PhD student in 2015. In his PhD, he worked on the deep theoretical understanding of current transport mechanisms in passivating contacts. In order to be able to compare the results of his calculations with reality, he needed certain measurement data, in particular on the contact resistances between the passivating layers and the silicon wafer. These measurements were previously very time-consuming and subsequently required complex analysis. Therefore, there was only a limited experimental data set. Mr. Folchert was able to show that both the measurements or rather the fabrication of the necessary structures as well as the subsequent analysis can be significantly simplified. This will mean that in future a wide variety of passivating contacts can be investigated more extensively than before and therefore optimized even better. This also represents a contribution to further increasing the efficiency of solar cells.
Michael Winter studied physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover and joined ISFH as a PhD student in 2018. His research focuses on light- and temperature-induced changes in charge carrier lifetime in the volume and at the surface of silicon-based photovoltaic materials. Such degradation and regeneration phenomena are caused, among other things, by the high-temperature contacting process at the end of solar cell production. A deeper understanding of the underlying effects will enable process optimizations to avoid significant degradation of charge carrier lifetime, which will improve the long-term stability of high-efficiency solar cells.
Next year, the SiliconPV conference will be held as a hybrid event. The face-to-face part will be outside Europe: in Hangzhou, China.