[China Glass Network] TCO glass was first used in flat panel displays. Currently, ITO-type conductive glass is still the mainstream glass electrode product in the flat panel display industry. In recent years, the rise in the price of crystalline silicon has greatly promoted the development of thin-film solar cells. At present, thin-film solar cells account for more than 10% of the world's photovoltaic market. TCO glass for photovoltaics is an essential component of the front electrode of batteries, and market demand is growing rapidly. Become a hot, high-tech coated glass product.

Characteristics and types of TCO coated glass

In the solar cell, the electrode of the crystalline silicon wafer type battery is a wire soldered on the surface of the silicon wafer, and the front cover glass only needs to have a high light transmittance. The thin film solar cell is formed by plating a pin semiconductor film on a conductive film on the surface of the glass, and then plating the back electrode.

There are many coating materials and processes for transparent conductive oxides, which are continuously screened through scientific research. Currently, the following three types of TCO glass are matched with the performance requirements of photovoltaic cells.

ITO coated glass is a very mature product with high transmittance, strong film layer and good electrical conductivity. It was initially applied to the front electrode of photovoltaic cells. However, as the light absorption performance requirements increase, TCO glass must have the ability to improve light scattering, which is difficult to achieve with ITO coating, and laser etching performance is also poor. Indium is a rare element, which has a small amount of storage in nature and a high price. When ITO is applied to a solar cell, it is not stable enough in plasma. Therefore, ITO coating is currently not the electrode glass of the mainstream of photovoltaic cells.

SnO2 coating, also referred to as FTO, is currently used to produce Low-E glass for construction. Its conductivity is slightly worse than ITO, but it has the advantages of relatively low cost, easy laser etching and suitable optical performance. By upgrading and upgrading the production technology of ordinary Low-E, a product with better conductivity than ordinary Low-E and having haze is manufactured. TCO glass produced by this technology has become the mainstream product of thin film photovoltaic cells.

The research on zinc oxide-based thin films is progressing rapidly, and the material properties can be compared with ITO. The structure is hexagonal wurtzite. Among them, aluminum-doped zinc oxide thin films are widely studied, and its outstanding advantages are easy availability of raw materials, low manufacturing cost, non-toxicity, easy doping, and good stability in plasma. It is expected to soon become a new type of photovoltaic TCO product. At present, the main problem is the technical problem in industrial large-area coating.

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