EBIC Investigation of the Influence of Hydrogen Passivation on Thin-Film Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells Obtained by Aluminium Induced Crystallization and Epitaxy
The relatively new “thin-film polycrystalline-silicon (pc-Si) (grain size of 0.1-100 µm) solar cell on foreign substrate” technology aims at low-cost devices with energy conversion efficiencies above 12 %. A very promising technique to obtain thin pc-Si layers is aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC). Solar cell absorber layers can be made by epitaxial thickening of these AIC seed layers. So far, we have reached energy conversion efficiencies of up to 8% with this approach. In contrast to what is expected a performance independent of the grain size is found which is explained by the presence of intragrain defects. In this paper the electrical activity of both the intragrain defects as well as the grain boundaries is investigated with electron beam induced current (EBIC) measurements before and after hydrogen plasma passivation. Metal-insulator-semiconductor contacts were used as collecting junction to eliminate the interference of the junction shape with the EBIC measurement as found when diffused emitters where used. It is shown that both grain boundaries and intragrain defects are electrically active before and after hydrogen plasma passivation. Finally we argue that Leff,mono, the diffusion length inside the grains, is probably much closer to 1µm in our layers than equal to 100µm as often expected in the literature.
M. Kittler and H. Richter
D. Van Gestel et al., "EBIC Investigation of the Influence of Hydrogen Passivation on Thin-Film Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells Obtained by Aluminium Induced Crystallization and Epitaxy", Solid State Phenomena, Vols. 156-158, pp. 413-418, 2010