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Surface passivation properties of boron-doped plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited hydrogenated amorphous silicon films on p-type crystalline Si substrates

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2 Author(s)
De Wolf, Stefaan ; Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Center (IMEC) vzw, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium ; Beaucarne, G.

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Heterostructures, such as the crystalline silicon (c-Si)/plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited (PECVD) hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) structure, form a possibility in the development of a low recombination rear contact for photovoltaic devices fabricated from p-type c-Si(p) substrates. To find a good compromise between limited charge carrier recombination at the surface and a limited resistivity of the contact, a sandwich structure, such as c-Si(p)/a-Si:H(i)/a-Si:H(p+) has been proposed in the past. However, in this letter, we report that whereas a very thin intrinsic a-Si:H layer (∼3 nm) may still yield very low values for the surface recombination velocity of low resistivity (0.5–1.5 Ω cm) c-Si(p) wafers, the surface passivation properties are lost when this intrinsic film is subsequently covered by a PECVD a-Si:H(p+) layer. This phenomenon suggests that surface recombination does not take place at the c-Si(p)/a-Si:H(i) interface, but more likely in the defect-rich PECVD a-Si:H(p+) material, by tunneling of minority carriers through the thin a-Si:H(i) layer.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:88 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2006

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