Amorphous/crystalline silicon interface defects induced by hydrogen plasma treatments

Jonas Geissbühler*, Stefaan De Wolf, Bénédicte Demaurex, Johannes P. Seif, Duncan T.L. Alexander, Loris Barraud, Christophe Ballif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Excellent amorphous/crystalline silicon interface passivation is of extreme importance for high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells. This can be obtained by inserting hydrogen-plasma treatments during deposition of the amorphous silicon passivation layers. Prolonged hydrogen-plasmas lead to film etching. We report on the defect creation induced by such treatments: A severe drop in interface-passivation quality is observed when films are etched to a thickness of less than 8 nm. Detailed characterization shows that this decay is due to persistent defects created at the crystalline silicon surface. Pristine interfaces are preserved when the post-etching film thickness exceeds 8 nm, yielding high quality interface passivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number231604
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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