Decoupling high surface recombination velocity and epitaxial growth for silicon passivation layers on crystalline silicon

K. Landheer, M. Kaiser, M.A. Verheijen, F.D. Tichelaar, I. Poulios, R.E.I. Schropp, J.K. Rath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have critically evaluated the deposition parameter space of very high frequency plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition discharges near the amorphous to crystalline transition for intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers on Si (1 1 1) wafers. Using a low silane concentration in the SiH4-H2 feedstock gas mixture that created amorphous material just before the transition, we have obtained samples with excellent surface passivation. Also, an a-Si:H matrix was grown with embedded local epitaxial growth of crystalline cones on a Si (1 1 1) substrate, as was revealed with a combined scanning electron and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study. This local epitaxial growth was introduced by a decrease of the silane concentration in the feedstock gas or an increase in discharge power at low silane concentration. Together with the samples on Si (1 1 1) substrates, layers were co-deposited on Si (1 0 0) substrates. This resulted in void-rich, mono-crystalline epitaxial layers on Si (1 0 0). The epitaxial growth on Si (1 0 0) was compared to the local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1). The sparse surface coverage of cones seeded on the Si (1 1 1) substrate is most probably enabled by a combination of nucleation at steps and kinks in the (1 1 1) surface and intense ion bombardment at low silane concentration. The effective carrier lifetime of this sample is low and does not increase upon post-deposition annealing. Thus, sparse local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1) is enough to obstruct crystalline silicon surface passivation by amorphous silicon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065305
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Silicon
Silanes
Epitaxial growth
Passivation
decoupling
passivity
silanes
Crystalline materials
silicon
Substrates
Feedstocks
Cones
cones
very high frequencies
Carrier lifetime
amorphous materials
Epitaxial layers
Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
carrier lifetime
Ion bombardment

Keywords

  • cc VHF PECVD
  • epitaxial growth
  • SHJ solar cell
  • surface passivation

Cite this

Landheer, K. ; Kaiser, M. ; Verheijen, M.A. ; Tichelaar, F.D. ; Poulios, I. ; Schropp, R.E.I. ; Rath, J.K. / Decoupling high surface recombination velocity and epitaxial growth for silicon passivation layers on crystalline silicon. In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 2017 ; Vol. 50, No. 6.
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Decoupling high surface recombination velocity and epitaxial growth for silicon passivation layers on crystalline silicon. / Landheer, K.; Kaiser, M.; Verheijen, M.A.; Tichelaar, F.D.; Poulios, I.; Schropp, R.E.I.; Rath, J.K.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 50, No. 6, 065305, 13.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decoupling high surface recombination velocity and epitaxial growth for silicon passivation layers on crystalline silicon

AU - Landheer, K.

AU - Kaiser, M.

AU - Verheijen, M.A.

AU - Tichelaar, F.D.

AU - Poulios, I.

AU - Schropp, R.E.I.

AU - Rath, J.K.

PY - 2017/1/13

Y1 - 2017/1/13

N2 - We have critically evaluated the deposition parameter space of very high frequency plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition discharges near the amorphous to crystalline transition for intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers on Si (1 1 1) wafers. Using a low silane concentration in the SiH4-H2 feedstock gas mixture that created amorphous material just before the transition, we have obtained samples with excellent surface passivation. Also, an a-Si:H matrix was grown with embedded local epitaxial growth of crystalline cones on a Si (1 1 1) substrate, as was revealed with a combined scanning electron and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study. This local epitaxial growth was introduced by a decrease of the silane concentration in the feedstock gas or an increase in discharge power at low silane concentration. Together with the samples on Si (1 1 1) substrates, layers were co-deposited on Si (1 0 0) substrates. This resulted in void-rich, mono-crystalline epitaxial layers on Si (1 0 0). The epitaxial growth on Si (1 0 0) was compared to the local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1). The sparse surface coverage of cones seeded on the Si (1 1 1) substrate is most probably enabled by a combination of nucleation at steps and kinks in the (1 1 1) surface and intense ion bombardment at low silane concentration. The effective carrier lifetime of this sample is low and does not increase upon post-deposition annealing. Thus, sparse local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1) is enough to obstruct crystalline silicon surface passivation by amorphous silicon.

AB - We have critically evaluated the deposition parameter space of very high frequency plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition discharges near the amorphous to crystalline transition for intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layers on Si (1 1 1) wafers. Using a low silane concentration in the SiH4-H2 feedstock gas mixture that created amorphous material just before the transition, we have obtained samples with excellent surface passivation. Also, an a-Si:H matrix was grown with embedded local epitaxial growth of crystalline cones on a Si (1 1 1) substrate, as was revealed with a combined scanning electron and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study. This local epitaxial growth was introduced by a decrease of the silane concentration in the feedstock gas or an increase in discharge power at low silane concentration. Together with the samples on Si (1 1 1) substrates, layers were co-deposited on Si (1 0 0) substrates. This resulted in void-rich, mono-crystalline epitaxial layers on Si (1 0 0). The epitaxial growth on Si (1 0 0) was compared to the local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1). The sparse surface coverage of cones seeded on the Si (1 1 1) substrate is most probably enabled by a combination of nucleation at steps and kinks in the (1 1 1) surface and intense ion bombardment at low silane concentration. The effective carrier lifetime of this sample is low and does not increase upon post-deposition annealing. Thus, sparse local epitaxial growth on Si (1 1 1) is enough to obstruct crystalline silicon surface passivation by amorphous silicon.

KW - cc VHF PECVD

KW - epitaxial growth

KW - SHJ solar cell

KW - surface passivation

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DO - 10.1088/1361-6463/aa535f

M3 - Article

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VL - 50

JO - Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

JF - Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

SN - 0022-3727

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