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Surface passivation of silicon solar cells using plasma-enhanced chemical-vapour-deposited SiN films and thin thermal SiO2/plasma SiN stacks

Date

2001

Authors

Schmidt, Jan
Kerr, Mark John
Cuevas, Andres

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Institute of Physics Publishing

Abstract

Two different techniques for the electronic surface passivation of silicon solar cells, the plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition of silicon nitride (SiN) and the fabrication of thin thermal silicon oxide/plasma SiN stack structures, are investigated. It is demonstrated that, despite their low thermal budget, both techniques are capable of giving an outstanding surface passivation quality on the low-resistivity (∼1 _ cm) p-Si base as well as on n+-diffused solar cell emitters with the oxide/nitride stacks showing a much better thermal stability. Both techniques are then applied to fabricate front and rear-passivated silicon solar cells. Open-circuit voltages in the vicinity of 670 mV are obtained with both passivation techniques on float-zone single-crystalline silicon wafers, demonstrating the outstanding surface passivation quality of the applied passivation schemes on real devices. All-SiN passivated multicrystalline silicon solar cells achieve an open-circuit voltage of 655 mV, which is amongst the highest open-circuit voltages attained on this kind of substrate material. The high open-circuit voltage of the multicrystalline silicon solar cells results not only from the excellent degree of surface passivation but also from the ability of the cell fabrication to maintain a relatively high bulk lifetime (>20 µs) due to the low thermal budget of the surface passivation process.

Description

Keywords

silicon solar cells, SiN films, PECVD, low-resistivity p-Si surfaces, SiN passivation, thermal stability, emitters

Citation

Source

Semiconductor Science and Technology

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1088/0268-1242/16/3/308

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