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Title: Exceptional gettering response of epitaxially grown kerfless silicon

The bulk minority-carrier lifetime in p- and n-type kerfless epitaxial (epi) crystalline silicon wafers is shown to increase >500 during phosphorus gettering. We employ kinetic defect simulations and microstructural characterization techniques to elucidate the root cause of this exceptional gettering response. Simulations and deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) indicate that a high concentra- tion of point defects (likely Pt) is “locked in” during fast (60 C/min) cooling during epi wafer growth. The fine dispersion of moderately fast-diffusing recombination-active point defects limits as-grown lifetime but can also be removed during gettering, confirmed by DLTS measurements. Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy indicates metal agglomerates at structural defects, yet the structural defect density is sufficiently low to enable high lifetimes. Consequently, after phosphorus diffusion gettering, epi silicon exhibits a higher lifetime than materials with similar bulk impurity contents but higher densities of structural defects, including multicrystalline ingot and ribbon silicon materials. As a result, device simulations suggest a solar-cell efficiency potential of this material >23%.
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. The Univ. of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
EE0005314; AC02-06CH11357
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; epitaxial silicon; metal impurities; gettering; solar cells; DLTS; kerfless; silicon; deep level transient spectroscopy; epitaxy; iron; point defects
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1237381