Iron Precipitation upon Gettering in Phosphorus-Implanted Czochralski Silicon and its Impact on Solar Cell Performance

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Electrical Engineering | A4 Artikkeli konferenssijulkaisussa
Degree programme
Phosphorus implantation can provide a direct route to a high-performing emitter, with no surface dead layer and improved blue response, and potentially higher open-circuit voltage. Here, iron precipitation during gettering is investigated in phosphorus-implanted, low-oxygen monocrystalline silicon and its impact on device performance evaluated. Previously, it has been shown that higher levels of initial iron contamination lead to lower final interstitial iron concentration after gettering with ion-implanted emitters, resulting in longer final bulk diffusion lengths in the more-highly contaminated materials. In this contribution, we show that despite longer bulk diffusion lengths, the open circuit-voltage of devices made from the highly iron-contaminated material can be strongly reduced. Using synchrotron-based Xray fluorescence we reveal the presence of micron-sized iron precipitates in the near surface region. While not measured over wafer-sized areas, the density of these precipitates correlates with the annealing profile. Slow-cooling from the activation anneal and proceeding directly to a 620-750°C gettering anneal results in large precipitates that are indicated as the underlying cause for the disastrous open-circuit voltage. On the other hand, quickly cooling to room temperature and then re-inserting the wafers for gettering results in very small precipitates that do not appear to have significant detrimental affects on open-circuit voltage. It is thus critical to consider the precipitation behavior of iron during gettering of ion-implanted emitters - even in monocrystalline silicon - and during low-temperature annealing in general.
phosphorus implantation, emitters, Czochralski silicon, solar cells
Other note
Fenning, David & Vähänissi, Ville & Morishige, Ashley & Laine, Hannu & Haarahiltunen, Antti & Castellanos, Sergio & Jensen, Mallory & Savin, Hele. 2014. Iron Precipitation upon Gettering in Phosphorus-Implanted Czochralski Silicon and its Impact on Solar Cell Performance. 40th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, June 8-13, 2014. 3. DOI: 10.1109/pvsc.2014.6924896.