Influence of oxygen on Ag ionization in molten lead borosilicate glass during screen-printed Ag contact formation for Si solar cells

Bo Mook Chung, Sung Bin Cho, Jung Woo Chun, Young Sik Kim, Kuninori Okamoto, Joo Youl Huh

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In order to gain further insight into the formation mechanism of fire-through Ag contacts of Si solar cells, the ionization of Ag during the dissolution of Ag powder into a lead borosilicate glass melt was electrochemically investigated at 800°C under various ambient conditions with different oxygen partial pressures (PO2). Voltammetric analyses of the Ag-free and Ag-containing glass melts confirmed that some of the Ag powder dissolved into the molten glass as Ag+ ions through interaction of the powder with oxygen in the ambient atmosphere. The concentration of Ag+ in the molten glass significantly increased with increasing PO2. The dependence of the Ag+ solubility in the molten glass on PO2 was estimated from chronoamperometric measurements for a series of glass melts containing different amounts of Ag powder. The chronoamperometry results clearly demonstrated that the solubility limit of Ag+ in the molten glass at 800 °C also increased significantly with increasing PO2. The present results strongly support the mechanism proposed recently for fire-through Ag contact formation in which Ag+ ions dissolved in the molten glass play a crucial role. The present study also suggests that the reaction kinetics during the fire-through Ag contact formation is effectively controlled by adjusting PO 2 in the ambient firing conditions as well as by modifying the glass chemistry to alter the solubility of Ag+ ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 27



  • Ag ionization
  • Crystalline Si solar cell
  • Firing ambience
  • Lead borosilicate glass
  • Screen-printed Ag contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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