Excellent silicon surface passivation with 5 Å thin ALD Al2O3 layers
Influence of different thermal post-deposition treatments
Thin layers of Al2O3 always require a thermal post-deposition treatment to activate the passivation on crystalline silicon surfaces. In this work, we studied the influence of different thermal post-deposition treatments for the activation of passivating ALD Al2O3 single layers and Al2O3/SiNx stacks. For the stacks, especially with less than 5 nm Al2O3, a short high temperature process at 800 °C results in a remarkably lower surface recombination compared to a commonly applied annealing at 425 °C. We observed that four ALD cycles of Al2O3 are sufficient to reach the full potential of surface passivation, and even with one atomic layer of Al2O3 (one ALD cycle) emitter saturation current densities as low as 45 fA/cm2 can be reached on boron-diffused emitters.