Several techniques have been proposed for kerfless wafering of thin Si wafers, which is one of the most essential techniques for reducing Si material loss in conventional wafering methods to lower cell cost. Proton induced exfoliation is one of promising kerfless techniques due to the simplicity of the process of implantation and cleaving. However, for application to high efficiency solar cells, it is necessary to cope with some problems such as implantation damage removal and texturing of (111) oriented wafers. This study analyzes the end-of-range defects at both kerfless and donor wafers and ion cutting sites. Thermal treatment and isotropic etching processes allow nearly complete removal of implantation damages in the cleaved-thin wafers. Combining laser interference lithography and a reactive ion etch process, a facile nanoscale texturing process for the kerfless thin wafers of a (111) crystal orientation has been developed. We demonstrate that the introduction of nanohole array textures with an optimal design and complete damage removal lead to an improved efficiency of 15.2% based on the kerfless wafer of a 48 μm thickness using the standard architecture of the Al back surface field.
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