Damage and residual layer analysis of reactive ion etching textured multi-crystalline silicon wafer for application to solar cells

Dongkyun Kang, Hyun Jung Park, Dongjin Choi, Hyebin Han, Jaeseung Seol, Yoon Mook Kang, Hae Seok Lee, Donghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


As part of the surface texturing process of multi-crystalline silicon solar cells, isotropic etching is performed by using an acidic solution. Furthermore, metal catalyst chemical etching (MCCE), reactive ion etching (RIE), and laser etching are used to further decrease surface reflectance. This study aimed to increase the power conversion efficiency of the solar cell by improving the short-circuit current density (Jsc) using MCCE and RIE. During RIE, a byproduct and a plasma damage layer are formed on the silicon surface, which decrease the efficiency of the solar cell and therefore need to be identified and effectively removed. Transmission electron spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses were performed to identify the byproducts formed during RIE to confirm that it was amorphous silicon oxide. Furthermore, an etching process using acidic and alkaline base solutions was used to remove the plasma damage layer and the Jsc loss was calculated using the reflectance. As a results, confirm a difference of up to ∼ 1.6 mA/cm2, and an improvement of approximately 0.6% was observed in the solar cell efficiency. These results show a method of minimizing Jsc loss and removing surface damage in a silicon solar cells fabricated using the RIE method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning ( KETEP ). This grant was financed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20203030010300 ) and (No. 20188550000450 )

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Solar Energy Society


  • Byproducts
  • Damage removal etching
  • Multi-crystalline solar cells
  • Reactive ion etching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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