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Charge carrier trapping at passivated silicon surfaces

: Seiffe, J.; Hofmann, M.; Rentsch, J.; Preu, R.


Journal of applied physics 109 (2011), No.6, Art. 064505, 8 pp.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
PV Produktionstechnologie und Qualitätssicherung; Silicium-Photovoltaik; Produktionsanlagen und Prozessentwicklung

Surface passivation has become an essential factor for translating high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cell concepts into industrial production schemes. In photovoltaics, a widespread method to determine the surface recombination is to measure the effective charge carrier lifetime from the photoconductance of symmetrically passivated silicon wafers in transient or quasi-static mode. In this work, it is shown how the injection history at the surface influences the transient effective lifetime measurement for several passivation layers. This dependence leads to systematic differences between quasi-static and transient measurements. The influence can be explained by charge trapping in slow surface states at the surface passivation layer. A model including slow surface states is used in a fit procedure to evaluate the capture cross sections of these traps. The observed effect is well-pronounced for silicon-rich passivation layers like a-Si:H, a-SiCx:H or silicon-rich a-SiOxNy:H. For PECVD-AlOx layers and for thermally grown SiO2 layers as well, however, the effective lifetime measurement could be influenced.