Amélioration de la passivation de cellules solaires de silicium à hétérojonction grâce à l’implantation ionique et aux recuits thermiques

Abstract : A-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells have reached record efficiencies of 24.7%. The passivation of c-Si is the key to achieve a high-efficiency. Indeed, the abrupt discontinuity in the crystal structure at the amorphous/crystal interface induces a high density of dangling bonds creating a high density of defects in the band gap. These defects act as recombination centers for electron-hole pairs photogenerated in c-Si. Several dielectric layers can be used to passivate n-type and p-type wafers: (i) SiO₂ produced by thermal growth, (ii) Al₂O₃ deposited by ALD, (iii) a-SiNₓ:H and a-Si:H deposited by PECVD. The most versatile passivation layer is a-Si: H because it is effective for both p-type and n-type wafers. In addition, this process has a low thermal budget since the deposition is made at 200°C. The drawback of this passivation layer, in particular when p-type doped, is that it does not withstand temperatures above 200°C. However, in order to have a good electrical contact, TCO and metal electrodes require high temperature annealing (between 300°C and 500°C).We implanted Argon ions in solar cell precursors with energies between 1 and 30 keV, which allows to control the depth to which we are creating defects. By varying the fluence between 10¹² Ar.cm⁻² and 10¹⁵ Ar.cm⁻² we control the concentration of defects. We show that implantation with an energy of 5 keV and a fluence of 10¹⁵ Ar.cm⁻² is not sufficient to damage the a-Si:H/c-Si interface. The effective lifetime of the minority charge carriers, measured using a photoconductance technique (decay time of photoconductivity), decreases only from 3 ms to 2.9 ms after implantation. On the other hand the implantations at 10 keV, 10¹⁴ Ar.cm⁻² or at 17 keV, 10¹² Ar.cm⁻² are sufficient to degrade the effective lifetime by more than 85%.Following implantation the solar cells have been annealed in a controlled atmosphere at different temperatures and this up to 420°C. We show that annealing can heal the implantation defects. Moreover, under certain conditions, we obtain lifetimes after implantation and annealing greater than the initial effective lifetime. Combining ion implantation and annealing leads to robust passivation with effective carrier lifetimes above 2 ms even after annealing our solar cell precursors at 380°C. We used a large variety of techniques such as photoconductance, photoluminescence, spectroscopic ellipsometry, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, Raman spectroscopy and hydrogen exodiffusion to characterize and analyze the physico-chemical phenomena involved in the modification of solar cells precursors. We discuss here several effects such as the increase of the effective lifetime and the temperature robustness by the preservation of hydrogen in amorphous silicon layer and this even after annealing. This hydrogen preservation can be explained by the increase of the number of Si–H bonds in amorphous silicon and the formation of cavities during implantation. In the course of annealing the hydrogen which diffuses is trapped and then released by cavities and dangling bonds, which limits its exodiffusion and makes it available for dangling bonds passivation.
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Alice Defresne. Amélioration de la passivation de cellules solaires de silicium à hétérojonction grâce à l’implantation ionique et aux recuits thermiques. Science des matériaux [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLS533⟩. ⟨tel-01580995⟩

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