TY - JOUR

T1 - The contribution of planes, vertices, and edges to recombination at pyramidally textured surfaces

AU - Baker-Finch, Simeon C.

AU - McIntosh, Keith R.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - We present a methodology by which one may distinguish three key contributors to enhanced recombination at pyramidally textured silicon surfaces. First, the impact of increased surface area is trivial and equates to a √3-fold increase in S eff,UL•. Second, the presence of {111}-oriented facets drives a fivefold increase in S eff,UL at SiO 2 -passivated surfaces but a small (1.5-fold) increase for SiN x passivation. A third factor, which is often proposed to relate to stress at convex and concave pyramids and edges, is shown to depend on pyramid period (and, hence, vertex/ridge density). This third factor impacts least on S eff,UL when the pyramid period is 10 μm. At this period, it results in a negligible increase in S eff,UL at SiO 2 -passivated textured surfaces but causes at least a sevenfold increase at the Si/SiN x interface. Finally, we found that S eff,UL is 1.5-2.0 times higher at inverted pyramid texture than at surfaces featuring a random arrangement of upright pyramids. The results of this study, particularly for the Si/SiN x system, likely depend on process conditions, but the methodology is universally applicable. We believe this to be the first study to distinguish the impact of {111} facets from those of vertices and edges. Further, we find that {111} surfaces, rather than vertices and edges, are chiefly responsible for the poor-quality passivation achieved by thick oxides on textured surfaces.

AB - We present a methodology by which one may distinguish three key contributors to enhanced recombination at pyramidally textured silicon surfaces. First, the impact of increased surface area is trivial and equates to a √3-fold increase in S eff,UL•. Second, the presence of {111}-oriented facets drives a fivefold increase in S eff,UL at SiO 2 -passivated surfaces but a small (1.5-fold) increase for SiN x passivation. A third factor, which is often proposed to relate to stress at convex and concave pyramids and edges, is shown to depend on pyramid period (and, hence, vertex/ridge density). This third factor impacts least on S eff,UL when the pyramid period is 10 μm. At this period, it results in a negligible increase in S eff,UL at SiO 2 -passivated textured surfaces but causes at least a sevenfold increase at the Si/SiN x interface. Finally, we found that S eff,UL is 1.5-2.0 times higher at inverted pyramid texture than at surfaces featuring a random arrangement of upright pyramids. The results of this study, particularly for the Si/SiN x system, likely depend on process conditions, but the methodology is universally applicable. We believe this to be the first study to distinguish the impact of {111} facets from those of vertices and edges. Further, we find that {111} surfaces, rather than vertices and edges, are chiefly responsible for the poor-quality passivation achieved by thick oxides on textured surfaces.

KW - Photovoltaic cells

KW - silicon

KW - surface passivation

KW - surface recombination

KW - surface texture

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84865190618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2011.2165530

DO - 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2011.2165530

M3 - Article

SN - 2156-3381

VL - 1

SP - 59

EP - 65

JO - IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics

JF - IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics

IS - 1

M1 - 6018240

ER -