High resistance and damage during the laser process have been some of the challenges that Natcore Technology had to overcome when creating its all-back-contact cell, the Natcore Foil Cell.

To toughen up the Natcore Foil Cell, the company has devised a laser-based contacting process that has reduced resistance from its laser-formed contacts. The laser-formed base contact is critical in the cell as high resistance at the contact and damage during the laser process limit the capability of solar cells.

Despite only a few runs with this new structure, the device efficiency has already reached 19.5%, increasing by nearly two percentage points over 17.5% since June. At 17.5%, Natcore’s cells were already roughly equivalent to commercially available cells. And last year, proof-of-concept cells were delivering just 4% efficiencies.

Additionally, cells from this laser-based approach have a 0.7V open-circuit voltage (Voc). The process was developed in Natcore's R&D centre in New York.