France’s INES building first TOPCon panels for space applications


From pv magazine France

France's INES, a division of the CEA, is developing TOPCon solar cells for space missions. The group said it has produced TOPCon devices with M2 wafers and a thickness of just 60 micrometers.

The CEA said the cells exhibit post-irradiation conversion efficiencies that are comparable to conventional p-type PERC cells in the same irradiation conditions.

However, this involves a device with approximately three times less mass for alternative flexible TOPCon cells, said the agency. It noted that the results were obtained using commercial industry-available equipment.

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The TOPCon devices are built on passivating contacts based on polysilicon and silicon monoxide (SiOx) to limit optical losses, with type n layers on the front side and an emitter on the front face due to gallium-doped substrates.

The researchers noted the solar cell's potential for a simplified manufacturing process suitable for thin wafers. They said that these developments are part of the CARLAH2 project, supported by the ESA.

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