Reactive Ion Etched, Self-Aligned, Selective Area Poly-Si/SiO2 Passivated Contacts

David Young, Kejun Chen, San Theingi, Vincenzo LaSalvia, David Diercks, Harvey Guthrey, William Nemeth, Matthew Page, Pauls Stradins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus Citations


Front/back poly-Si/SiO2 contact devices suffer from low short-circuit current density, Jsc, due to parasitic optical absorption in the front poly-Si layer. Thin poly-Si (~20 nm) allows for high Jsc but is not compatible with screen-printed fire-through contacts. We therefore study the effects of post-deposition etching of a thick poly-Si (200 nm) front layer by reactive ion etching (RIE) using the metal grid lines as a self-aligned mask. We show that passivation is maintained in the device during RIE and that Jsc is increased by a gain in the blue quantum efficiency response. However, our specific etching parameters cause non-uniform etching of the poly-Si leading to premature loss of passivation without optimal gain in Jsc. Etched, unpassivated layers can be re-passivated with a H-containing dielectric layer leading to a gain in Jsc, open circuit voltage,Voc, Fill-Factor, FF, and efficiency.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 110621
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-74988


  • Ohmic contacts
  • Passivation
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Poly-Si contacts
  • Reactive ion etching
  • Silicon devices


Dive into the research topics of 'Reactive Ion Etched, Self-Aligned, Selective Area Poly-Si/SiO2 Passivated Contacts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this