Attenuation of short-circuit effect along screen-printed silver gridlines during the contact firing process of crystalline silicon solar cells

Hee Soo Kim, Sung Hu Kim, Sung Bin Cho, Sang Hee Park, Joo Youl Huh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The “short-circuit effect” in the fire-through Ag metallization of crystalline Si (c-Si) solar cells refers to the poor contact formation caused by an electrical short between the Ag gridline and underlying Si emitter during contact firing. This study employs two different Ag pastes containing PbO- and TeO2-based glass frits to investigate the dependence of the short-circuit effect on the length and pattern of the Ag finger lines. The results show that regardless of the employed glass frits, the short-circuit effect is mitigated even near the short spot and gradually attenuated along the finger line away from the spot as the Ag finger line extends radially longer than the critical length (>35 mm). We demonstrate that this attenuation is independent of the finger line width and predominantly attributed to the ohmic drop of the electrode potential along the Si substrate. The results also show that, regardless of the glass frits, the contact quality is strongly correlated with the density of the Ag crystallites that are formed on the Si emitter surface. The 6-in full-cell tests indicate that the isolation of the short spots by segmenting the Ag finger lines does not necessarily result in the mitigation of the short-circuit effect. We suggest that the reduction of Ag+ on the Si emitter surface should be the key process that must be controlled to achieve high-quality contacts during contact firing, providing further insights into the electrochemical characteristics of contact firing reactions for the future development of Ag pastes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Samsung SDI for offering the technical and financial support for this study. This work was also supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea through a grant (No. 2017R1A2B3002980) that was funded by the Korean government (MSIT).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Ag crystallite
  • contact firing
  • crystalline Si solar cell
  • electrochemical reaction
  • screen-printed Ag contact
  • short-circuit effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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