Fluorine Passivation of Defects and Interfaces in Crystalline Silicon

Hang Cheong Sio*, Di Kang, Rong Liu, Josua Stuckelberger, Christian Samundsett, Daniel Macdonald

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Defects and impurities in silicon limit carrier lifetimes and the performance of solar cells. This work explores the use of fluorine to passivate defects in silicon for solar cell applications. We present a simple method to incorporate fluorine atoms into the silicon bulk and interfaces by annealing samples coated with thin thermally evaporated fluoride overlayers. It is found that fluorine incorporation does not only improve interfaces but can also passivate bulk defects in silicon. The effect of fluorination is observed to be comparable to hydrogenation, in passivating grain boundaries in multicrystalline silicon, improving the surface passivation quality of phosphorus-doped poly-Si-based passivating contact structures, and recovering boron-oxygen-related light-induced degradation in boron-doped Czochralski-grown silicon. Our results highlight the possibility to passivate defects in silicon without using hydrogen and to combine fluorination and hydrogenation to further improve the overall passivation effect, providing new opportunities to improve solar cell performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32503-32509
    Number of pages7
    JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
    Issue number27
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021


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