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|Title:||Impact of Post-deposition Plasma Treatment on Surface Passivation Quality of Silicon Nitride Films|
|Publisher:||IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC|
|Citation:||IEEE JOURNAL OF PHOTOVOLTAICS,6(1)74-78|
|Abstract:||Exposing a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition-deposited silicon nitride (SiNx) film to an inert gas-oxidizing plasma ambient results in a significant reduction in background plating in the case of electroplated Ni-Cu metallization on c-Si solar cells. However, plasma treatment of SiNx is known to result in a degradation of the Si-SiNx interface. In this paper, we investigate the impact of an Ar/N2O plasma treatment process on the surface passivation properties of SiNx film. Following the plasma treatment, effective minority carrier lifetime (tau(eff)) is seen to improve from 266 to 864 mu s at a minority carrier density of 10(15) cm(-3). The interface-state density (D-it) at the Si-SiNx interface also decreases by an order of magnitude, following the Ar/N2O plasma treatment. Enhancement in tau(eff) is found to be stable for annealing temperatures up to 450 degrees C, which is typically used for Ni-Cu contact sintering. Substrate annealing during the post-deposition plasma treatment process is seen to play a major role in improving the tau(eff). Coupled with its potential for reducing the background plating, the proposed process is a promising candidate for developing the passivation layers for cell technologies with low-temperature metallization schemes.|
|Appears in Collections:||Article|
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