Carrier recombination at the metal-semiconductor contacts has become a significant obstacle to the further advancement of high-efficiency diffused-junction silicon solar cells. This paper provides the proof-of-concept of a procedure to reduce contact recombination by means of enhanced metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structures. Lightly diffused n+ and p+ surfaces are passivated with SiO2/a-Si:H and Al2O3/a-Si:H stacks, respectively, before the MIS contacts are formed by a thermally activated alloying process between the a-Si:H layer and an overlying aluminum film. Transmission/scanning transmission electron microscopy (TEM/STEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy are used to ascertain the nature of the alloy. Idealized solar cell simulations reveal that MIS(n+) contacts, with SiO2 thicknesses of ∼1.55nm, achieve the best carrier-selectivity producing a contact resistivity ρc of ∼3 mΩ cm2 and a recombination current density J0c of ∼40 fA/cm2. These characteristics are shown to be stable at temperatures up to 350°C. The MIS(p+) contacts fail to achieve equivalent results both in terms of thermal stability and contact characteristics but may still offer advantages over directly metallized contacts in terms of manufacturing simplicity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)