Characterization of SiNx/a-Si:H crystalline silicon surface passivation under UV light exposure

M. Tucci, L. Serenelli, S. De Iuliis, M. Izzi

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One of the most promising solution for crystalline silicon surface passivation in solar cell fabrication consists in a low temperature (< 400 °C) Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition of a double layer composed by intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride (SiNx). Due to the high amount of hydrogen in the gas mixture during the double layer deposition, the passivation process results particularly useful in case of multi-crystalline silicon substrates in which hydrogenation of grain boundaries is very needed. In turn the presence of hydrogen inside both amorphous layers can induce metastability effects. To evaluate these effects we have investigated the stability of the silicon surface passivation obtained by the double layer under ultraviolet light exposure. In particular we have verified that this double layer is effective to passivate both p- and n-type crystalline silicon surface by measuring minority carrier high lifetime, via photoconductance-decay. To get better inside the passivation mechanisms, strongly connected to the charge laying inside the SiNxlayer, we have collected the Infrared spectra of the SiNx/a-Si:H/c-Si structures and we have monitored the capacitance-voltage profiles of Al/SiNx/a-Si:H/c-Si Metal Insulator Semiconductor structures at different stages of UltraViolet (UV) light exposure. Finally we have verified the stability of the double passivation layer applied to the front side of solar cell devices by measuring their photovoltaic parameters during the UV light exposure. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7625 - 7628
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number19 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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