Analysis of the negative charges injected into a SiO2/SiNx stack using plasma charging technology for field-effect passivation on a boron-doped silicon surface

Kwan Hong Min, Jeong Mo Hwang, Eunwan Cho, Hee eun Song, Sungeun Park, Ajeet Rohatgi, Donghwan Kim, Hae Seok Lee, Yoon Mook Kang, Young Woo Ok, Min Gu Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated field-effect passivation by injecting negative charges into SiO2/SiNx stack using a plasma charge injection technique. The Si/SiO2/SiNx samples exhibited a very high flat-band shift with a high injected negative charge density (>3.0 × 1013 cm2) after plasma negative charge injection; this density was higher than that for the well-known Al2O3 layer. Most injected negative charges were present within approximately 90 nm of the surface of the SiNx layer deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) when comparing the capacitance–voltage analysis results obtained while etching the SiNx film considering four assumptions of the injected negative charge distribution. The saturation current density in a 90-ohm/sq boron emitter decreased from ~90 to 50 fA/cm2 after negative charge injection, which is equivalent to the J0e of the structure passivated with an Al2O3/SiNx stack. Six-inch n-type bifacial cells with an approximately 100-ohm/sq boron emitter passivated with SiO2/SiNx displayed an approximately 0.2% increase in absolute cell efficiency after negative charge injection. In addition, n-PERT bifacial cells with a high boron sheet resistance of ~150 ohm/sq exhibited a 1.0% or higher absolute efficiency enhancement from a relatively low precharging efficiency of approximately 19.0%. We also demonstrated that the final efficiency after charging was comparable with n-PERT bifacial cells with Al2O3 passivation, suggesting that the proposed process is a potential low-cost alternative method that could replace expensive Al2O3 processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted under the New and Renewable Energy Technology Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) through a grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Korea (project nos. 20178520000290 and 20193010014530), the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Change Problems of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2017M1A2A2086911), and the US Department of Energy (award numbers: DE‐EE0007189 and DE‐0001840).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • charge distribution
  • charge injection
  • field effect passivation
  • n-PERC cell
  • plasma charging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the negative charges injected into a SiO2/SiNx stack using plasma charging technology for field-effect passivation on a boron-doped silicon surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this