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Characterisation and optimisation of PECVD SiNx as an antireflection coating and passivation layer for silicon solar cells

Wan, Yimao; McIntosh, Keith R.; Thomson, Andrew F.

Description

In this work, we investigate how the film properties of silicon nitride (SiNx) depend on its deposition conditions when formed by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). The examination is conducted with a Roth & Rau AK400 PECVD reactor, where the varied parameters are deposition temperature, pressure, gas flow ratio, total gas flow, microwave plasma power and radio-frequency bias voltage. The films are evaluated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to determine structural...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWan, Yimao
dc.contributor.authorMcIntosh, Keith R.
dc.contributor.authorThomson, Andrew F.
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-11T04:17:41Z
dc.date.available2015-12-11T04:17:41Z
dc.identifier.issn2158-3226
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/70396
dc.description.abstractIn this work, we investigate how the film properties of silicon nitride (SiNx) depend on its deposition conditions when formed by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). The examination is conducted with a Roth & Rau AK400 PECVD reactor, where the varied parameters are deposition temperature, pressure, gas flow ratio, total gas flow, microwave plasma power and radio-frequency bias voltage. The films are evaluated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to determine structural properties, by spectrophotometry to determine optical properties, and by capacitance–voltage and photoconductance measurements to determine electronic properties. After reporting on the dependence of SiNx properties on deposition parameters, we determine the optimized deposition conditions that attain low absorption and low recombination. On the basis of SiNx growth models proposed in the literature and of our experimental results, we discuss how each process parameter affects the deposition rate and chemical bond density. We then focus on the effective surface recombination velocity S eff, which is of primary importance to solar cells. We find that for the SiNx prepared in this work, 1) S eff does not correlate universally with the bulk structural and optical properties such as chemical bond densities and refractive index, and 2) S eff depends primarily on the defect density at the SiNx-Si interface rather than the insulator charge. Finally, employing the optimized deposition condition, we achieve a relatively constant and low S eff,UL on low-resistivity (≤1.1 Ωcm) p- and n-type c-Si substrates over a broad range of n = 1.85–4.07. The results of this study demonstrate that the trade-off between optical transmission and surface passivation can be circumvented. Although we focus on photovoltaic applications, this study may be useful for any device for which it is desirable to maximize light transmission and surface passivation.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage between The Australian National University and Braggone Oy under Grant LP0989593.
dc.publisherAmerican Institute of Physics (AIP)
dc.rights© Copyright 2013 Author(s). This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
dc.sourceAIP Advances
dc.subjectKeywords: Deposition conditions; Deposition Parameters; Deposition temperatures; Optimized deposition conditions; Photovoltaic applications; Plasma enhanced chemical vapour depositions (PECVD); Structural and optical properties; Surface recombination velocities; An
dc.titleCharacterisation and optimisation of PECVD SiNx as an antireflection coating and passivation layer for silicon solar cells
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume3
dc.date.issued2013-03-05
local.identifier.absfor090605
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5114172xPUB49
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.aip.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationWan, Yimao, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationMcIntosh, Keith, PV Lighthouse, Australia
local.contributor.affiliationThomson, Andrew, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/LP0989593
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage032113
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage14
local.identifier.doi10.1063/1.4795108
local.identifier.absseo850504
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:34:24Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84875837468
local.identifier.thomsonID000316951200013
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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