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Spatially resolved modeling of the combined effect of dislocations and grain boundaries on minority carrier lifetime in multicrystalline silicon

: Stokkan, G.; Riepe, S.; Lohne, O.; Warta, W.


Journal of applied physics 101 (2007), Nr.5, Art. 053515, 9 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer ISE ()

A model for the combined effect of dislocations and grain boundaries on minority carrier lifetime has been developed. Lifetime varies with dislocation density, grain boundary misorientation, and the coincidence site lattice (CSL) nature of the boundaries. Minority carrier lifetime was measured with high spatial resolution (50 mu m) using the carrier density imaging (CDI) technique on a silicon nitride passivated multicrystalline sample. Dislocation density was measured on the same sample by image recognition of optical microscope pictures of a Secco etched surface. Grain boundaries were then mapped and characterized by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Lifetime was simulated based on the dislocation and grain boundary measurements. Parameters were chosen to match closely the simulated and measured maps. Very good two-dimensional (2D) correlation was obtained by assigning roughly equal importance to recombination at dislocations and grain boundaries. The value for the capture cross section, which gives the best correlation, is 4x10(-14) cm(-3). This is in the range of values reported for interstitial transition metals like, for instance, iron. It appears necessary to include also the effect of grain boundaries to explain recombination in low lifetime areas. Sub grain boundaries were particularly recombination active and are dominating the number of active grain boundaries.