A high-speed production process is described for depositing a single-layer, quarter-wavelength thick antireflection coating of titanium dioxide on metal-patterned single-crystal silicon solar cells for terrestrial applications. Controlled atomization spraying of an organotitanium solution was selected as the most cost-effective method of film deposition using commercial automated equipment. The optimal composition consists of titanium isopropoxide as the titanium source, n-butyl acetate as the diluent solvent, sec-butanol as the leveling agent, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol to render the material uniformly depositable. Application of the process to the coating of circular, large-diameter solar cells with either screen-printed silver metallization or with vacuum-evaporated Ti/Pd/Ag metallization showed increases of over 40% in the electrical conversion efficiency. Optical characteristics, corrosion resistance, and several other important properties of the spray-deposited film are reported. Experimental evidence indicates a wide tolerance in the coating thickness upon the overall efficiency of the cell. Considerations pertaining to the optimization of AR coatings in general are discussed, and a comprehensive critical survey of the literature is presented.
CHEMISTRY AND MATERIALS (GENERAL)
RCA Review; 41; June 198