Optimizing Solar Cells, One Chemical At A Time

The solar energy transition is underway. As the industry reaches toward grid parity, chemical processing will deliver the cost, processing and efficiency advantages to get us there. MacDermid Inc., a world leader in specialty chemicals, brings cutting-edge innovation and world-renowned technical service excellence to your facilities, anywhere, anytime. Our chemical processes enable the efficiency gains you need to win the brightest of futures.



Solar energy provides the most elegant solution to meet the world's power needs. Completely renewable, perfectly clean, globally available, and based on silicon - a low cost, readily available element - solar power will be the answer to the energy demands and environmental goals of the coming generations. The limitation so far has been cost. Even as solar power has been proven in space applications, by environmentalists, and in off-grid isolated locations, solar electricity represents less than one percent of energy consumption. So far, the high cost has been the result of two key factors - material expense and sub-optimal efficiency. MacDermid Enthone Photovoltaics works to improve both.

MacDermid Enthone's passion, has been to deliver innovative specialty chemicals to industrial manufacturing, in the pursuit of making products better in a more efficient manner. Liquid chemicals are easy to transport, easy to apply, easy to analyze, and far less expensive than other treatment technologies. MacDermid Enthone possesses expert knowledge in all the key areas needed to optimize the photovoltaics industry - imaging, cleaning, etching, metal plating, organic coating, nanostructuring, and printing.

MacDermid Enthone's Photovoltaics can enable a lower cost per watt for today's technology. For newer silicon cell designs, MacDermid Enthone's imaging and etching processes open high-resolution patterns through anti-reflective coatings, for elimination of sintered silver paste. Our metal seed layers have world-leading control and thickness uniformity for optimum contact to active silicon. Metal conductors will extract electrons using highly conductive solid metals, deposited using electroless, electrolytic, or light-induced immersion deposition technologies. The result: best efficiencies with less shadowing and low stress; all enabling the use of the thinnest silicon wafers.

"The standard method for conductor formation on silicon solar cells is too wasteful, too expensive, and too restrictive for really widespread deployment of solar cells on the world's rooftops. We need to make the same leaps in technology that the circuit board and semiconductor industries have made time and time again. We need the elegant design of plated metal conductors. The superior contact, improved adhesion, soldering predictability, and excellent conductivity of a nickel, copper, silver conductor will allow the strong, consistent, cost-effective cells that will change our planet's thinking about energy."

That is our way of providing value - we innovate efficient cost-effective processes and support our customers with expert technical service. Because we understand; to make the world a better place, solar energy products need to be manufactured better, at an overall lower cost, more easy to use, and with predictable long-term functionality.

"Past attempts to use nickel-copper conductors on silicon cells suffered from poor adhesion.  MacDermid Enthone's breakthrough innovations, in cooperation with our laser and plating equipment partners, now produce busbar adhesion stronger than the silicon itself.  This ribbon was soldered at six locations to the nickel, copper, silver busbar.  Pull tests demonstrate the strength of this low-cost, high-efficiency plated grid."

Click here to contact us for more information about Photovoltaics.


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PV In The News

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MacDermid Enthone Receive PV Magazine's 2017 Technology Highlights Award

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Mark Osborne, PVTech

Nano-electronics research center imec said it had achieved a record cell conversion efficiency of 22.5% for its large area (6-inch) n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) Cz-Si solar cell. Click here to read more. 

Mark Osborne, PVTech

MacDermid’s HELIOS nickel, copper, and silver wet chemical plating baths, which are a key part of an integrated laser patterning, plating, and thermal anneal system, produces 30µm fingers and 4N pull strengths, while reducing costs by US$0.06/cell. Click here read more.