Crystalline silicon wafers solar cells dominate more than 90% of the total PV market share. Meanwhile, silicon must reinvent itself for both g/W and $/W reductions while maintaining high performance and reliability.
To meet this challenge, lower-cost feedstock materials are entering commercial production, including upgraded metallurgical route and modified Siemens. Quasi-mono ingot casting is moving to the picture. Kerfless methods for fabricating thin wafers promise to reduce the grams of silicon per peak watt by >2x. Novel methods for nucleating thin layers of silicon offer disruptive avenues with inherent cost and performance advantages.
While multiple technology pathways exist to reach $1/Wp installed PV system costs using silicon, fundamental scientific and engineering challenges must be overcome. Because the solar cell efficiency is strongly affected by the quality of the crystalline silicon, the development of the silicon materials technology, from the feedstock to crystal growth and wafering, is extremely important. It is therefore essential to exchange scientific information among world-wide specialists in physics as well as materials science and technology for crystalline Si solar cells.
To facilitate this exchange of information, the 6th International Workshop on Science and Technology of Crystalline Si Solar Cells will be organized in France for the first time after Japan (1st), China (2nd), Norway (3rd), Taiwan (4th) and USA (5th).