Effect of Silicon Oxide Thickness on Polysilicon Based Passivated Contacts for High-efficiency Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

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Abstract

In this study, we have investigated the effect of SiOx thickness (1–3 nm) on the performance of polycrystalline (poly) Si/SiOx/monocrystalline Si (c-Si) passivated contacts. Our results show that for both n- and p-type contacts, there is an optimum SiOx thickness of 1.4–1.6 nm for obtaining the highest implied open-circuit voltage (i-Voc) values of ~739 and ~700 mV, respectively. For contacts with SiOx thicker than 1.6 nm, the i-Voc drops due to reduced field-effect passivation. We attribute this to the fact that a thicker SiOx layer hinders the diffusion of both n- and p-type dopants into the c-Si wafer resulting in a junction that is very close to the c-Si/SiOx interface, which increases carrier recombination most likely due to the presence of defects at this interface. The resistivity measured through the metal/poly-Si/SiOx/c-Si stack is independent of SiOx thickness up to 1.6 nm, and increases exponentially by several orders of magnitude with further increase in SiOx thickness due to inefficient tunneling transport. Finally, the extent of metallization-induced degradation of the poly-Si/SiOx/c-Si contacts is worst for the thinnest SiOx investigated (~1 nm), and interestingly it is not completely mitigated even for a ~3 nm thick SiOx.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume185
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-71510

Keywords

  • Contact resistivity
  • Metallization-induced degradation
  • Passivated contact
  • Passivation
  • Silicon oxide
  • Silicon solar cell

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