Dip Coating Passivation of Crystalline Silicon by Lewis Acids

Wenbo Ji, Yingbo Zhao, Hossain M Fahad, James Bullock, Thomas Allen, Der-Hsien Lien, Stefaan De Wolf, Ali Javey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The reduction of carrier recombination processes by surface passivation is vital for highly efficient crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells and bulk wafer metrological characterization. Herein, we report a dip coating passivation of silicon surfaces in ambient air and temperature with Nafion, achieving a champion effective carrier lifetime of 12 ms on high resistivity n-type c-Si, which is comparable to state-of-the-art passivation methods. Nafion is a nonreactive polymer with strong Lewis acidity, thus leading to the formation of a large density of fixed charges at silicon surface, 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than what is achievable with conventional thin-film passivation layers. Notably, Nafion passivates the c-Si surface only by the fixed charges without chemical modification of dangling bonds, which is fundamentally different from the common practice of combining chemical with field-effect passivation. This dip coating process is simple and robust, without the need for complex equipment or parameter optimization as there is no chemical reaction involved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3723-3729
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2017-GRGG-3383.01
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Scott Bentrup of 3M Company for providing 3M PFSA powders for the passivation test. Passivation characterization and concept development were supported by the Electronic Materials Programs, funded by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Material Sciences and Engineering Division of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. Device fabrication was funded by U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office under the Contract No. DE-EE0008162, and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology under the Contract No. OSR-2017-GRGG-3383.01.


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