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Comparative Study on the Effects of Surfactants on the Electroless Copper Coated Solar Cell and Optimizing Its Process Parameters

DOI: 10.1155/2014/513715

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An experimental investigation on optimizing process parameters in the electroless copper coatings on solar photovoltaic cells under specific coating conditions has been carried out and reported. Coating parameters such as pH, temperature, and surfactants concentration were varied, and corresponding coating thickness and voltage were measured. To optimize the above parameters, design of experiment was conducted using full factorial method. The pH was varied at 4 different values such as 4-5, 5-6, 8-9, and 9-10 and temperature was varied at different values such as 75°C, 80°C, 85°C, and 90°C. The two different surfactants such as Sodium Do-decyl sulfate and Cetyl tri ammonium bromide were added and their concentration was varied from 0–1.5?g/L to 0–1.8?g/L, respectively. When pH was 8-9, the coating thickness was maximum of 12?μm and 11.63?μm and it was minimum of 3?μm and 2.6?μm, when pH was at 4-5 for Sodium Do-decyl sulfate and Cetyl tri ammonium bromide respectively. The coating thickness increases up to 12?μm when the temperature was 85°C and further increase in temperature destabilizes the electroless bath. The coating thickness was a maximum of 11.25?μm/hr and 10.53?μm/hr, when the Sodium Dodecyl sulfate and Cetyl tri ammonium bromide concentrations were 1.2?g/L and 1.5?g/L, respectively. The increased coating thickness of solar cells imparts increased open circuit voltage from 0.43?V to 0.65?V. The detailed experimental results and their analysis are presented in the main paper. 1. Introduction Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. A solar cell (also called photovoltaic cell or photoelectric cell) is a solid state electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect. The manufacturing of high-efficiency crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar cells involves advanced technologies and sophisticated equipment not available in third-world country laboratories. Today, the conversion efficiency of advanced crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar cells is up to 25%. But their manufacturing involves rather advanced technologies and equipment not available in most third-world country laboratories. Recently, electroless deposition of copper, using only a chemical bath, has received considerable attention. Major advantages over the electroless deposition process include the formation of a uniform deposit on irregular surfaces, direct deposition on surface activated nonconductors, and the formation of less porous and more corrosion resistant deposits [1]. Copper plating can change the appearance,


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