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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N509905/1
Title: HI-PROSPECTS - HIgh resolution PRinting Of Solar Photovoltaic EleCTrode Structures
Principal Investigator: Jewell, Dr EH
Other Investigators:
Watson, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 April 2016 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 300,702
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The research to be carried out by Swansea University is to understand the issues and develop solutions related to up

scaling the near transparent copper grid to larger sizes. There is a significant challenge in this in that increases in size

brings both scientific and engineering challenges. When scaling, issues such as substrate form (which can be ignored at

small scale) become important, substrate stressing due to differential temperature profiles can lead to catastrophic failure

and thus optimized curing / sintering at small scale will have to be refined as the substrate size increases. In addition the

tolerance to defects and variations in deposit due to materials or processing conditions (some of which cannot be

controlled) may be insignificant at small scale but become significant as the substrate size increases. As well as process

and material considerations, there are design consideration. As substrate size increases then there may be a need to alter

the nature of the deposited grid such that higher conductor density is required towards the centre of a cell / module as a

charge generated at the centre of the cell will have a extended resistive path length to reach an electrode. The optimization

of this patterning and its impact is to be investigated in the work. Understanding these scale effects such that their impact

can be mitigated is critical in developing an engineering solution for large area processing of electrodes. The research

activity will address the optimization of the line structure and geometry for large areas through modelling and in parallel

perform install the system for experimental development of the ESJET over large areas. SPECIFIC will also provide lifetime

testing of the PV cells / modules manufactured in order to establish whether the copper grid has any detrimental / beneficial

effect on PV performance.

In order to establish optimal grid patterning simulation software (such as PSPICE) will be used to model the geometries

and film thicknesses, their effect on the sheet resistance and its subsequent effect on performance of PV cells created

using the fine copper patterning. This will take material data from the lab trials and estimate the geometric design and

process windows.

The clean room facilities at SPECIFIC provide an ideal test environment where glass substrate > 1m2 are routinely printed

using conventional printing techniques. The second main research activity is design and install a larger scale ESJET

system on the glass processing line at SPECIFIC and demonstrate that the copper can be deposited to the substrate over

a large area and that this substrate can be used to create a large area PV cell. This will establish the design of the

installation based on operational / material tolerances, physical layout requirements and operational processing issues. To

compliment the deposition requirements of the ESJET copper, the sintering process which will need to be designed and

implemented. This provides additional challenges in terms of maintaining consistent energy distributions (thermal and

photonic) over a large area. Such a development is non trivial having to take account many complex interacting parameters

such as photonic absorbance, differential thermal expansions, thermal properties and real world intensity variations.

The performance and lifetime of the PV cells will be carried out in suite of PV characterization and lifetime testing facilities

at SPECIFIC. The standards used for these tests (illumination, RH and temperature) will be determined from the relevant

standards and in house best practice with perovskite and OPV cells. Control samples using conventional TCOs, Ag grid &

TCOs combinations will also be used to identify only those degradation routes which can be attributed to the presence of

the copper grid.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk