Mohammad Nur E Alam
ORCID : 0000-0003-1969-3348
School of Science
Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia iRMC, Universiti Tenaga Nasional
The metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) technique is commonly employed for texturing the wafer surfaces when fabricating black silicon (BSi) solar cells and is considered to be a potential technique to improve the efficiency of traditional Si-based solar cells. This article aims to review the MACE technique along with its mechanism for Ag-, Cu- and Ni-assisted etching. Primarily, several essential aspects of the fabrication of BSi are discussed, including chemical reaction, etching direction, mass transfer, and the overall etching process of the MACE method. Thereafter, three metal catalysts (Ag, Cu, and Ni) are critically analyzed to identify their roles in producing cost-effective and sustainable BSi solar cells with higher quality and efficiency. The conducted study revealed that Ag-etched BSi wafers are more suitable for the growth of higher quality and efficiency Si solar cells compared to Cu- and Ni-etched BSi wafers. However, both Cu and Ni seem to be more cost-effective and more appropriate for the mass production of BSi solar cells than Ag-etched wafers. Meanwhile, the Ni-assisted chemical etching process takes a longer time than Cu but the Nietched BSi solar cells possess enhanced light absorption capacity and lower activity in terms of the dissolution and oxidation process than Cu-etched BSi solar cells.
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