ECN publication
MW PECVD a-SixNyHz: The road to optimum silicon nitride coatings
Winderbaum, S.; Romijn, I.G.; Sterk, D.; Straaten, B. van
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 11-9-2006
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--06-038 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 21st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, Dresden, Germany, 4-8 september 2006.

Amorphous silicon nitride (a-SixNyHz) layers are widely used in the solar cell industry because they are cost effective and they offer an efficient solution for three critical aspects within the solar cell fabrication process sequence at the same time: While acting as an excellent anti-reflection coating (ARC) they also supply very good bulk and surface hydrogen passivation. It is widely accepted that the a-SixNyHz layer should have a refraction index of n 2.1 and low absorption to behave as a good ARC, and in previous publications it was pointed out that the Si-N bond density of the layer should be around 13*1022 cm-3 to enable good bulk and surface passivation. This work intends to study the factors determining the structural and optical properties of the silicon nitride layers deposited with large industrial remote MW PECVD systems, using NH3 and SiH4 as precursor gasses. While in most studies the changes of Si-N bond densities are achieved irrespectively of the refractive index of the layer, we will investigate how the Si-N bond density and passivation capability of the silicon nitride layer can be optimized while maintaining an optimum refractive index of 2.08+/-0.02.

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