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Examination of the properties of the interface of a-SiNx:H/Si in crystalline silicon solar cells and its effect on cell efficiency
Lamers, M.W.P.E.; Butler, K.T.; Romijn, I.G.; Harding, J.H.; Weeber, A.W.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 28-11-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--11-085 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
6 Download PDF  

Nitridation is the process in which, during the initial growth of a-SiNx:H layers on Si surfaces, nitrogen (N) is incorporated into Si lattice near its surface. We show that this nitridation process affects the density of interface states (Dit) and fixed charges (Qf) at the interface. These parameters determine the effective surface passivation quality of the layers. The nitridation can be tuned independently of the growth of a-SiNx:H layers by using a plasma treatment prior to actual a-SiNx:H layer deposition. It is shown that the Qf can be varied from 2•1012 to 15•1012 cm-2 without changing the a-SiNx:H deposition process. It is demonstrated that in our case and processing window, Qf is the determining factor in surface passivation quality in the range of 2•1012 to 8•1012 cm-2. For higher values of Qf, Dit has increased significantly and has become dominant thereby reducing the passivation quality. It is shown that the passivation can be controlled independently of the a-SiNx:H deposition process. On completed solar cells this variation in Qf due to nitridation results in a change in open-circuit voltage, Voc, of almost 20mV.

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