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Activation of Al2O3 passivation layers on silicon by microwave annealing

: Ziegler, J.; Otto, M.; Sprafke, A.N.; Wehrspohn, R.B.


Applied physics. A 113 (2013), Nr.2, S.285-290
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7250
ISSN: 0947-8396 (Print)
ISSN: 1432-0630 (Online)
Fraunhofer IWM ( IMWS) ()
post deposition anneal; mikrowave anneling; silicon passivation; atomic layer deposition

Thin aluminum oxide layers deposited on silicon by thermal atomic layer deposition can be used to reduce the electronic recombination losses by passivating the silicon surfaces. To activate the full passivation ability of such layers, a post-deposition annealing step at moderate temperatures (about 400 {ring operator}C, duration about 30 min) is required. Such an annealing step is commonly done in an oven in air, nitrogen, or forming gas atmosphere. In this work, we investigate the ability to reduce the duration of the annealing step by heating the silicon wafer with a microwave source. The annealing time is significantly reduced to durations below 1 min while achieving effective minority carrier lifetimes similar or higher to that of conventionally oven-annealed samples.