Study of the Passivation Mechanism of c-Si by Al2O3 Using in situ Infrared Spectroscopy

Pauls Stradins, William Nemeth, Sumit Agarwal, Rohan Chaukulkar, Arrelaine Dameron

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


We present an in situ attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy study of the passivation mechanism in the surface passivation of Si solar cells by Al2O3 thin films deposited via atomic layer deposition (ALD) using TMA and O3 as precursors. The IR measurements suggest that during the annealing stage, the Si-H bonding near the interface decreases. We have used D-terminated c-Si internal-reflection crystals to differentiate the residual H atoms that may migrate from ALD Al2O3 films versus the residual D atoms present at the Al2O3/c-Si interface after ALD. Within the sensitivity of the ATR-FTIR spectroscopy setup of ∼1012 cm-2 for Si-H bonds, we do not detect any migration of H from Al2O3 to the c-Si interface. Therefore, we conclude that the migration of O, and the subsequent restructuring of the interface during the annealing step, primarily contributes toward the chemical passivation of the Al2O3/c-Si interface.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2014
Event40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 - Denver, United States
Duration: 8 Jun 201413 Jun 2014


Conference40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-61341


  • charge-carrier lifetime
  • dielectric films
  • photovoltaic cells
  • silicon
  • thin-film devices


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