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Title: The boron-tailing myth in hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells

The boron-tailing effect in hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells describes the reduced charge collection specifically in the blue part of the spectrum for absorber layers deposited above a critical temperature. This effect limits the device performance of state-of-the art solar cells: For enhanced current density (reduced bandgap), the deposition temperature should be as high as possible, but boron tailing gets detrimental above 200 °C. To investigate this limitation and to show potential paths to overcome it, we deposited high-efficiency a-Si:H solar cells, varying the deposition temperatures of the p-type and the intrinsic absorber (i) layers between 150 and 250 °C. Using secondary ion mass spectroscopy, we study dedicated stacks of i-p-i layers deposited at different temperatures. This allows us to track boron diffusion at the p-i and i-p interfaces as they occur in the p-i-n and n-i-p configurations of a-Si:H solar cells for different deposition conditions. Finally, we prove step-by-step that the common explanation for boron tailing—boron diffusion from the p layer into the i layer leading to enhanced recombination—is not generally true and propose an alternative explanation for the experimentally observed drop in the external quantum efficiency at short wavelengths.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Electronics Laboratory, Rue de la Maladière 71, CH-2000 Neuchâtel (Switzerland)
  2. SIMS Services, Evans Analytical Group, 810 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, California 94086 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22486078
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: 20; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; BORON; CHARGE COLLECTION; CRITICAL TEMPERATURE; CURRENT DENSITY; DEPOSITION; HYDROGENATION; ION MICROPROBE ANALYSIS; LAYERS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; QUANTUM EFFICIENCY; SILICON SOLAR CELLS; SPECTRA; WAVELENGTHS