The Solion Blue implant process for injecting ions into the surface of semiconductors used in a solar cell aims to eliminate dead zones and enhance the photovoltaic panel's blue light response.
Developed by Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, the ion implant technology allows the shorter, blue wavelengths of light to be responded to more successfully by solar cells.
A lightly doped field region on the cell surface is key to this improved response, according to the manufacturer.
Semiconductors doped with phosphorous have more free electrons, allowing more charge to be carried across their surface.
But Varian claims that its own Precision Patterned Implant process is more effective than doping with phosphorous oxychloride, raising efficiencies to 18.5 per cent when Solion Blue is used.
Eliminating phosphorous oxychloride from the production procedures for solar panels also helps to simplify the flow of photovoltaic cells during fabrication, the company adds, while allowing a superior thermal oxide layer to replace the usual phosphor-silicate glass passivation surface on the finished panel.