Fundamental understanding, impact, and removal of boron-rich layer on n-type silicon solar cells

Kyungsun Ryu, Chel Jong Choi, Hyomin Park, Donghwan Kim, Ajeet Rohatgi, Young Woo Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Most boron diffusion technologies result in the formation of an undesirable boron-rich layer (BRL) on the emitter surface. This paper reports on a study of the impact of gradual etching of the BRL on n-type silicon solar cell performance. It is found that gradual removal of the BRL improves surface passivation and bulk lifetime in the finished cell, while over-etching of the BRL results in a sharp decrease in fill factor due to the increased n-factor and series resistance. It is shown that the optimum chemical etching of the BRL formed as a byproduct of the screen-printed boron emitter diffusion used in this study raised the cell efficiency by -0.5%, resulting in 20.0% efficient large area (239 cm2) n-type solar cells. The change in BRL thickness and morphology as a function of chemical etching time was investigated by TEM and AES measurements to explain the quantitative impact of BRL removal on cell performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program ( NRF-2015R1A6A1A04020421 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea, and by the Converging Research Center Program ( 2014M3C1A8048834 ) through the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning, Republic of Korea .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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