Hydrogenation of Dislocation-Limited Heteroepitaxial Silicon Solar Cells

Michael L. Bolen, Sachit Grover, Charles W. Teplin, David Bobela, Howard M. Branz, Paul Stradins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Post-deposition hydrogenation by remote plasma significantly improves performance of heteroepitaxial silicon (Si) solar cells. Heteroepitaxial deposition of thin crystal Si on sapphire for photovoltaics (PV) is an excellent model system for developing the PV technology platform of film c-Si on inexpensive Al2O3-coated (100) biaxially-textured metal foils. Without hydrogenation PV conversion efficiencies are less than 1% in our model system, due to carrier recombination at electrically-active dislocations and other growth defects. Hydrogenation dramatically improves performance, with low-temperature hydrogenation at 350oC being more effective than hydrogenation at 610°C. Spectral quantum efficiency, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and vibrational Si-Hx Raman spectroscopy measurements elucidate the effects of hydrogenation on the materials and devices. Quantum efficiency increases at wavelengths >400 nm, indicating hydrogenation is mostly affecting the bulk of the cells. SIMS detects nearly 100 times more hydrogen atoms in our cells than available dangling bonds along all dislocations. Yet, Raman spectroscopy indicates that only low temperature hydrogenation creates Si-Hx bonds; trapped hydrogen does not stably passivate dangling-bond recombination sites at high temperatures.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012


Conference38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

Bibliographical note

See CP-5200-54101 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5200-56927


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