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Title: Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells

Abstract

The dehydrogenation of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) at temperatures above approximately 300°C degrades its ability to passivate silicon wafer surfaces. This limits the temperature of post-passivation processing steps during the fabrication of advanced silicon heterojunction or silicon-based tandem solar cells. We demonstrate that a hydrogen plasma can rehydrogenate intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers that have been dehydrogenated by annealing. The hydrogen plasma treatment fully restores the effective carrier lifetime to several milliseconds in textured crystalline siliconwafers coated with 8-nm-thick intrinsic a-Si:H layers after annealing at temperatures of up to 450°C. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation also translates to complete solar cells: A silicon heterojunction solar cell subjected to annealing at 450°C (following intrinsic a-Si:H deposition) had an open-circuit voltage of less than 600 mV, but an identical cell that received hydrogen plasma treatment reached a voltage of over 710 mV and an efficiency of over 19%.

Authors:
; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1354913
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1264787; OSTI ID: 1354908; OSTI ID: 1354911
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0006335
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; surface passivation; passivation; plasma temperature; solar cells; silicon

Citation Formats

Shi, Jianwei, Boccard, Mathieu, and Holman, Zachary. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4958831.
Shi, Jianwei, Boccard, Mathieu, & Holman, Zachary. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4958831.
Shi, Jianwei, Boccard, Mathieu, and Holman, Zachary. Tue . "Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4958831. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1354913.
@article{osti_1354913,
title = {Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation of amorphous silicon to increase the temperature processing window of silicon heterojunction solar cells},
author = {Shi, Jianwei and Boccard, Mathieu and Holman, Zachary},
abstractNote = {The dehydrogenation of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) at temperatures above approximately 300°C degrades its ability to passivate silicon wafer surfaces. This limits the temperature of post-passivation processing steps during the fabrication of advanced silicon heterojunction or silicon-based tandem solar cells. We demonstrate that a hydrogen plasma can rehydrogenate intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers that have been dehydrogenated by annealing. The hydrogen plasma treatment fully restores the effective carrier lifetime to several milliseconds in textured crystalline siliconwafers coated with 8-nm-thick intrinsic a-Si:H layers after annealing at temperatures of up to 450°C. Plasma-initiated rehydrogenation also translates to complete solar cells: A silicon heterojunction solar cell subjected to annealing at 450°C (following intrinsic a-Si:H deposition) had an open-circuit voltage of less than 600 mV, but an identical cell that received hydrogen plasma treatment reached a voltage of over 710 mV and an efficiency of over 19%.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4958831},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 109,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jul 19 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Tue Jul 19 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Hydrogen induced passivation of Si interfaces by Al2O3 films and SiO2/Al2O3 stacks
journal, October 2010

  • Dingemans, G.; Beyer, W.; van de Sanden, M. C. M.
  • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 97, Issue 15, Article No. 152106
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3497014