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ECN publication
Recombination activity of interstitial iron and other transition metal point defects in p- and n-type crystalline silicon
Geerligs, L.J.; Macdonald, D.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 1-11-2004
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--04-115 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Applied Physics Letters (American Institute of Physics), , 2004, Vol.85, p.4061-4063.


Interstitial iron in crystalline silicon has a much larger capture cross section for electrons than holes.

According to the Shockley?Read?Hall model, the low-injection carrier lifetime in p-type silicon

should therefore be much lower that in n-type silicon, while in high injection they should be equal.

In this work we confirm this modeling using purposely iron-contaminated samples. A survey of

other transition metal impurities in silicon reveals that those which tend to occupy interstitial sites

at room temperature also have significantly larger capture cross sections for electrons. Since these

are also the most probable metal point defects to occur during high temperature processing, using

n-type wafers for devices such as solar cells may offer greater immunity to the effects of metal


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