p+-doping analysis of laser fired contacts for silicon solar cells by Kelvin probe force microscopy

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Journal of Applied Physics. 2016, 119(10), 105707. ISSN 0021-8979. eISSN 1089-7550. Available under: doi: 10.1063/1.4943064
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Local rear contacts for silicon passivated emitter and rear contact solar cells can be established by point-wise treating an Al layer with laser radiation and thereby establishing an electrical contact between Al and Si bulk through the dielectric passivation layer. In this laser fired contacts (LFC) process, Al can establish a few μm thick p+-doped Si region below the metal/Si interface and forms in this way a local back surface field which reduces carrier recombination at the contacts. In this work, the applicability of Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) to the investigation of LFCs considering the p+-doping distribution is demonstrated. The method is based on atomic force microscopy and enables the evaluation of the lateral 2D Fermi-level characteristics at sub-micrometer resolution. The distribution of the electrical potential and therefore the local hole concentration in and around the laser fired region can be measured. KPFM is performed on mechanically polished cross-sections of p+-doped Si regions formed by the LFC process. The sample preparation is of great importance because the KPFM signal is very surface sensitive. Furthermore, the measurement is responsive to sample illumination and the height of the applied voltage between tip and sample. With other measurement techniques like micro-Raman spectroscopy, electrochemical capacitance-voltage, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis, a high local hole concentration in the range of 1019 cm−3 is demonstrated in the laser fired region. This provides, in combination with the high spatial resolution of the doping distribution measured by KPFM, a promising approach for microscopic understanding and further optimization of the LFC process.

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ISO 690EBSER, Jan, Daniel SOMMER, Susanne FRITZ, Yvonne SCHIELE, Giso HAHN, Barbara TERHEIDEN, 2016. p+-doping analysis of laser fired contacts for silicon solar cells by Kelvin probe force microscopy. In: Journal of Applied Physics. 2016, 119(10), 105707. ISSN 0021-8979. eISSN 1089-7550. Available under: doi: 10.1063/1.4943064
BibTex
@article{Ebser2016dopin-34020,
  year={2016},
  doi={10.1063/1.4943064},
  title={p<sup>+</sup>-doping analysis of laser fired contacts for silicon solar cells by Kelvin probe force microscopy},
  number={10},
  volume={119},
  issn={0021-8979},
  journal={Journal of Applied Physics},
  author={Ebser, Jan and Sommer, Daniel and Fritz, Susanne and Schiele, Yvonne and Hahn, Giso and Terheiden, Barbara},
  note={Article Number: 105707}
}
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