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Advanced Bulk Defect Passivation for Silicon Solar Cells

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11 Author(s)
Brett J. Hallam ; Sch. of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Eng., Univ. of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia ; Phill G. Hamer ; Stuart R. Wenham ; Malcolm D. Abbott
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Through an advanced hydrogenation process that involves controlling and manipulating the hydrogen charge state, substantial increases in the bulk minority carrier lifetime are observed for standard commercial grade boron-doped Czochralski grown silicon wafers from 250-500 μs to 1.3-1.4 ms and from 8 to 550 μs on p-type Czochralski wafers grown from upgraded metallurgical grade silicon. However, the passivation is reversible, whereby the passivated defects can be reactivated during subsequent processes. With appropriate processing that involves controlling the charge state of hydrogen, the passivation can be retained on finished devices yielding independently confirmed voltages on cells fabricated using standard commercial grade boron-doped Czochralski grown silicon over 680 mV. Hence, it appears that the charge state of hydrogen plays an important role in determining the reactivity of the atomic hydrogen and, therefore, ability to passivate defects.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )