Investigation of Gettering Mechanisms in Crystalline Silicon: Final Subcontract Report, 21 July 1997--30 September 2003

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    In this investigation, various aspects of the mechanisms of gettering contaminant impurities away from device active regions in Si have been systematically conducted. Also systematically studied are the modeling of electrical activity of metallic precipitates in Si based on the Schottky effect. With these studies, our knowledge of gettering in Si and on the electrical activity of metallicprecipitates in Si has become substantially complete in the sense that interpretations of major experimental results have become self- and mutually consistent. The purpose of conducting the studies supported by this project was to obtain consistent interpretations of existing experimental results, as well as to conduct the needed new experiments, concerning the various phenomena associated withgettering in Si. The investigated gettering method is that by using an Al layer, and the involved works span from studies concerning basic point defect behaviors during gettering to studies of application of the gettering method to improve multicrystalline Si minority-carrier diffusion lengths. A preliminary study of the effect of gettering in affecting the solar cell efficiency has beenconducted. Moreover, a study of the electrical behavior of precipitated metallic impurities in Si based on the Schottky property of the precipitates, which is a newly proposed physical mechanism, has also been conducted. As a result of the present studies, our knowledge on such phenomena have become substantially more systematic.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages15
    StatePublished - 2004

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/SR-520-35613


    • diffusion length
    • electrical activity
    • gettering method
    • kick-out mechanism
    • metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS)
    • metallic precipitate
    • minority carriers
    • multicrystalline silicon
    • nucleation barrier
    • PV
    • Schottky effect
    • solar cells


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