Patents by Inventor Peter J. Cousins

Peter J. Cousins has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200105951
    Abstract: A solar cell can include a first plurality of metal contact fingers, and a second plurality of metal contact fingers interdigitated with the first plurality of metal contact fingers, wherein at least one of the first plurality of metal contact fingers comprises a wrap-around metal finger that passes between a first edge of the solar cell and at least one contact pads. A photovoltaic (PV) string including a solar cell with a wrap-around metal contact finger. A method of coupling an electrically conductive connector to a solar cell with a wrap-around metal contact finger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2019
    Publication date: April 2, 2020
    Inventors: Matthieu Minault Reich, Lewis C. Abra, David Fredric Joel Kavulak, Andrea R. Bowring, Benjamin Francois, Peter J. Cousins, Boris Bastien, Benjamin I. Hsia, Raphael M. Manalo
  • Publication number: 20200091366
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 22, 2019
    Publication date: March 19, 2020
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Patent number: 10490685
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Publication number: 20190131477
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Patent number: 10170657
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Publication number: 20170012161
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing high efficiency solar cells is disclosed. The method comprises providing a thin dielectric layer and a doped polysilicon layer on the back side of a silicon substrate. Subsequently, a high quality oxide layer and a wide band gap doped semiconductor layer can both be formed on the back and front sides of the silicon substrate. A metallization process to plate metal fingers onto the doped polysilicon layer through contact openings can then be performed. The plated metal fingers can form a first metal gridline. A second metal gridline can be formed by directly plating metal to an emitter region on the back side of the silicon substrate, eliminating the need for contact openings for the second metal gridline. Among the advantages, the method for manufacture provides decreased thermal processes, decreased etching steps, increased efficiency and a simplified procedure for the manufacture of high efficiency solar cells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Publication date: January 12, 2017
    Inventors: Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith, Seung Bum Rim
  • Patent number: 9466750
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing high efficiency solar cells is disclosed. The method comprises providing a thin dielectric layer and a doped polysilicon layer on the back side of a silicon substrate. Subsequently, a high quality oxide layer and a wide band gap doped semiconductor layer can both be formed on the back and front sides of the silicon substrate. A metallization process to plate metal fingers onto the doped polysilicon layer through contact openings can then be performed. The plated metal fingers can form a first metal gridline. A second metal gridline can be formed by directly plating metal to an emitter region on the back side of the silicon substrate, eliminating the need for contact openings for the second metal gridline. Among the advantages, the method for manufacture provides decreased thermal processes, decreased etching steps, increased efficiency and a simplified procedure for the manufacture of high efficiency solar cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith, Seung Bum Rim
  • Publication number: 20160071996
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2015
    Publication date: March 10, 2016
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Patent number: 9219173
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Patent number: 9147795
    Abstract: Methods of forming emitters for back-contact solar cells are described. In one embodiment, a method includes forming a first solid-state dopant source above a substrate. The first solid-state dopant source includes a plurality of regions separated by gaps. Regions of a second solid-state dopant source are formed above the substrate by printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Bo Li, Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith
  • Publication number: 20150243803
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2015
    Publication date: August 27, 2015
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Patent number: 9054255
    Abstract: Solar cells having emitter regions composed of wide bandgap semiconductor material are described. In an example, a method includes forming, in a process tool having a controlled atmosphere, a thin dielectric layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate of the solar cell. The semiconductor substrate has a bandgap. Without removing the semiconductor substrate from the controlled atmosphere of the process tool, a semiconductor layer is formed on the thin dielectric layer. The semiconductor layer has a bandgap at least approximately 0.2 electron Volts (eV) above the bandgap of the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Richard M. Swanson, Marius M. Bunea, Michael C. Johnson, David D. Smith, Yu-Chen Shen, Peter J. Cousins, Tim Dennis
  • Publication number: 20150144197
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing high efficiency solar cells is disclosed. The method comprises providing a thin dielectric layer and a doped polysilicon layer on the back side of a silicon substrate. Subsequently, a high quality oxide layer and a wide band gap doped semiconductor layer can both be formed on the back and front sides of the silicon substrate. A metallization process to plate metal fingers onto the doped polysilicon layer through contact openings can then be performed. The plated metal fingers can form a first metal gridline. A second metal gridline can be formed by directly plating metal to an emitter region on the back side of the silicon substrate, eliminating the need for contact openings for the second metal gridline. Among the advantages, the method for manufacture provides decreased thermal processes, decreased etching steps, increased efficiency and a simplified procedure for the manufacture of high efficiency solar cells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2015
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith, Seung Bum Rim
  • Publication number: 20150087100
    Abstract: Methods of forming emitters for back-contact solar cells are described. In one embodiment, a method includes forming a first solid-state dopant source above a substrate. The first solid-state dopant source includes a plurality of regions separated by gaps. Regions of a second solid-state dopant source are formed above the substrate by printing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Inventors: Bo Li, Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith
  • Patent number: 8962373
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing high efficiency solar cells is disclosed. The method comprises providing a thin dielectric layer and a doped polysilicon layer on the back side of a silicon substrate. Subsequently, a high quality oxide layer and a wide band gap doped semiconductor layer can both be formed on the back and front sides of the silicon substrate. A metallization process to plate metal fingers onto the doped polysilicon layer through contact openings can then be performed. The plated metal fingers can form a first metal gridline. A second metal gridline can be formed by directly plating metal to an emitter region on the back side of the silicon substrate, eliminating the need for contact openings for the second metal gridline. Among the advantages, the method for manufacture provides decreased thermal processes, decreased etching steps, increased efficiency and a simplified procedure for the manufacture of high efficiency solar cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith, Seung Bum Rim
  • Patent number: 8912038
    Abstract: Methods of forming emitters for back-contact solar cells are described. In one embodiment, a method includes forming a first solid-state dopant source above a substrate. The first solid-state dopant source includes a plurality of regions separated by gaps. Regions of a second solid-state dopant source are formed above the substrate by printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Bo Li, Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140295608
    Abstract: Methods of forming emitters for back-contact solar cells are described. In one embodiment, a method includes forming a first solid-state dopant source above a substrate. The first solid-state dopant source includes a plurality of regions separated by gaps. Regions of a second solid-state dopant source are formed above the substrate by printing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2014
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Inventors: Bo Li, Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith
  • Patent number: 8802486
    Abstract: Methods of forming emitters for back-contact solar cells are described. In one embodiment, a method includes forming a first solid-state dopant source above a substrate. The first solid-state dopant source includes a plurality of regions separated by gaps. Regions of a second solid-state dopant source are formed above the substrate by printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Bo Li, Peter J. Cousins, David D. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140166094
    Abstract: Methods of fabricating solar cell emitter regions using etch resistant films and the resulting solar cells are described. In an example, a method of fabricating an emitter region of a solar cell includes forming a plurality of regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles on a first surface of a substrate of the solar cell. A P-type dopant-containing layer is formed on the plurality of regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles and on the first surface of the substrate between the regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles. A capping layer is formed on the P-type dopant-containing layer. An etch resistant layer is formed on the capping layer. A second surface of the substrate, opposite the first surface, is etched to texturize the second surface of the substrate. The etch resistant layer protects the capping layer and the P-type dopant-containing layer during the etching.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2012
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventors: Paul Loscutoff, Peter J. Cousins
  • Publication number: 20140166093
    Abstract: Methods of fabricating solar cell emitter regions using N-type doped silicon nano-particles and the resulting solar cells are described. In an example, a method of fabricating an emitter region of a solar cell includes forming a plurality of regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles on a first surface of a substrate of the solar cell. A P-type dopant-containing layer is formed on the plurality of regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles and on the first surface of the substrate between the regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles. At least a portion of the P-type dopant-containing layer is mixed with at least a portion of each of the plurality of regions of N-type doped silicon nano-particles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2012
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventors: Paul Loscutoff, Peter J. Cousins, Steven Edward Molesa, Ann Waldhauer