Passivation properties of tunnel oxide layer in passivated contact silicon solar cells

Hyunho Kim, Soohyun Bae, Kwang sun Ji, Soo Min Kim, Jee Woong Yang, Chang Hyun Lee, Kyung Dong Lee, Seongtak Kim, Yoonmook Kang, Hae Seok Lee, Donghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Passivated contact in advanced high-efficiency silicon solar cells based on the full back surface field (BSF) is reported here in based on the application of a tunnel oxide layer that is less than 2 nm thick. The open-circuit voltage (V oc ) was significantly improved via interface passivation due to insertion of the tunnel oxide layer. During oxide layer growth, a transition region, such as a sub-oxide, was observed at a depth of about 0.75 nm in the growth interface between the silicon oxide layer and silicon substrate. The properties of the less than 2 nm thick tunnel oxide layer were primarily affected by the characteristics of the transition region. The passivation characteristics of tunnel oxide layer should depend on the physical properties of the oxide. The interface trap density D it is an important parameter in passivation and is influenced by the stoichiometry of the oxide which in turn strongly affected by the fabrication and the post annealing conditions. During heat treatment of a-Si:H thin films (for the purpose of crystallization to form doped layers), thin film blistering occurs due to hydrogen effusion on flat substrate surfaces. To minimize this behavior, we seek to control the surface morphology and annealing profile. Also, the passivation quality of passivataed contact structure declined for the sample annealed above 900 °C. This decline was attributed not only to local disruption of the tunnel oxide layer, but also to phosphorus diffusion. The resistivity of the tunnel oxide layer declined precipitously for the sample annealed above 900 °C. On the basis of these, implied V oc over 740 mV was achieved in n-type Si wafer through the control of the oxide stoichiometry via optimizing the annealing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blistering
  • Passivated contact
  • Passivation
  • Solar cell
  • Tunnel oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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