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ECN publication
Influence of silicon nitride and its hydrogen content on carrier-induced degradation in multicrystalline silicon
Vargas, C.; Kim, Kyung; Coletti, G.; Payne, D.; Chan, C.; Wenham, Stuart; Hameiri, Z.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 6-9-2017
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--17-023 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
4 Download PDF  

Presented at: EUPVSEC, Amsterdam, , 25-29 september 2017.

Multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) wafers show degradation due to carrier injection. This carrier-induced degradation particularly limits the performance of passivated emitter rear cell (PERC) made with mc-Si and is, therefore, gaining increasing attention from the photovoltaic community, as it is expected that PERC architecture will become dominant in the near future. In this study, we investigated the degradation behaviour of mc-Si wafers with six different silicon nitride passivation layers which were then separately fired at six different peak temperatures (a matrix of 36 conditions). We found that wafers fired at a low peak temperature (< 650 °C) had similar degradation rates independent of the silicon nitride deposition conditions, whilst the degradation rate of samples fired at higher temperature showed a clear dependence on these conditions. At high firing temperatures normally used for contact formation, it appears that there is a correlation between the degradation rate and the amount of hydrogen released from the dielectric during firing. Furthermore, we verified that no degradation of the surface passivation quality occurs, indicating that the degradation is primarily associated with a bulk-related defect.

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