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Observation of metal precipitates at prebreakdown sites in multicrystalline silicon solar cells

: Kwapil, W.; Gundel, P.; Schubert, M.C.; Heinz, F.D.; Warta, W.; Weber, E.R.; Goetzberger, A.; Martinez-Criado, G.


Applied Physics Letters 95 (2009), Art. 232113, 3 pp.
ISSN: 0003-6951
ISSN: 1077-3118
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

The local prebreakdown behavior of a damage etched multicrystalline silicon solar cell produced from virgin grade feedstock was characterized. At the position of micrometer-scaled prebreakdown sites, which correlate with recombination active defects found along grain boundaries, micro-x-ray fluorescence mappings revealed the presence of Fe precipitate colonies. These measurements represent direct evidence that transition metal clusters lead to decreased breakdown voltage and cause soft diode breakdown.