Improved quantitative description of Auger recombination in crystalline silicon
An accurate quantitative description of the Auger recombination rate in silicon as a function of the dopant density and the carrier injection level is important to understand the physics of this fundamental mechanism and to predict the physical limits to the performance of silicon based devices. Technological progress has permitted a near suppression of competing recombination mechanisms, both in the bulk of the silicon crystal and at the surfaces. This, coupled with advanced characterization techniques, has led to an improved determination of the Auger recombination rate, which is lower than previously thought. In this contribution we present a systematic study of the injection-dependent carrier recombination for a broad range of dopant concentrations of high-purity n-type and p-type silicon wafers passivated with state-of-the-art dielectric layers of aluminum oxide or silicon nitride. Based on these measurements, we develop a general parametrization for intrinsic recombination in crystalline silicon at 300 K consistent with the theory of Coulomb-enhanced Auger and radiative recombination. Based on this improved description we are able to analyze physical aspects of the Auger recombination mechanism such as the Coulomb enhancement.