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Open Physics

formerly Central European Journal of Physics

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Wet-chemical treatment and electronic interface properties of silicon solar cell substrates

1Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Institut Siliziumphotovoltaik, Kekuléstraβe 5, D-12489, Berlin, Germany

© 2009 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Open Physics. Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 363–370, ISSN (Online) 2391-5471, DOI: 10.2478/s11534-009-0055-3, April 2009

Publication History

Published Online:


On textured n-type silicon substrates for solar cell manufacturing, the relation between light trapping behavior, structural imperfections, energetic distribution of interface state densities and interface recombination losses were investigated by applying surface sensitive techniques. The field-modulated surface photovoltage (SPV), in-situ photoluminescence (PL) measurements, total hemispherical UV-NIR-reflectance measurements and electron microscopy (SEM) were employed to yield detailed information on the influence of wet-chemical treatments on preparation induced micro-roughness and electronic properties of polished and textured silicon substrates. It was shown that isotropic as well as anisotropic etching of light trapping structures result in high surface micro-roughness and density of interface states. Removing damaged surface layers in the nm range by wet-chemical treatments, the density of these states and the related interface recombination loss can be reduced. In-situ PL measurements were applied to optimise HF-treatment times aimed at undamaged, oxide-free and hydrogen-terminated substrate surfaces as starting material for subsequent solar cell preparations.

Keywords: texturisation of solar cell substrates; silicon surface passivation; interface states, recombination losses, surface photovoltage; insitu photoluminescence measurements; electron microscopy

PACS: 68.37.-d; 73.20.At; 73.50.Pz; 81.65.Cf; 81.65.Rv

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