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Dependence of phosphorus gettering and hydrogen passivation efficacy on grain boundary type in multicrystalline silicon

: Karzel, P.; Ackermann, M.; Gröner, L.; Reimann, C.; Zschorsch, M.; Meyer, S.; Kiessling, F.; Riepe, S.; Hahn, G.


Journal of applied physics 114 (2013), Nr.24, Art.244902, 11 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IISB ()
Fraunhofer CSP ()
Fraunhofer ISE ()

This investigation analyzes the dependency of minority charge carrier lifetime values at grain boundaries in multicrystalline silicon on the grain boundary type after P gettering and/or firing of SiNx:H layers deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. To get a broad statistics, a new method to determine the coincidence site lattice grain boundary types on large scale throughout entire 50 × 50 mm2 samples is combined with spatially resolved lifetime-calibrated photoluminescence measurements and mappings of the interstitial iron concentration. As an evaluation of the lifetime data at grain boundaries in comparison to the recombination activity of the bordering grains, lifetime contrast values are calculated. The correlation of this dependency on the grain boundary type with the impurity concentration is analyzed by the investigation of multicrystalline samples from two different ingots grown by directional solidification with different crucible material qual ities. A dependency of the efficacy of all applied processes on the grain boundary type is shown based on broad statistics-higher coincidence site lattice indexes correlate with a decrease of median lifetime values after all processes. Hydrogenation of both grains and grain boundaries is found to be more effective in cleaner samples. Extended getter sinks, as a P emitter, are also beneficial to the efficacy of hydrogenation. The lifetime contrast values are dependent on the degree of contamination of the multicrystalline silicon material. In cleaner samples, they rather decrease after the processes; in standard solar-grade material, they increase after POCl3 diffusion and decrease again after subsequent hydrogenation. No correlation with the interstitial iron concentration is found.