Smoothing and passivation of special Si(111) substrates: studied by SPV, PL, AFM and SEM measurements

Angermann, H.; Rappich, J.; Sieber, I.; Hübener, K.; Hauschild, J.
March 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2008, Vol. 390 Issue 6, p1463
Academic Journal
Surface sensitive techniques, the field-modulated surface photovoltage, photoluminescence measurements, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, were employed to yield detailed information on the influence of wet-chemical treatments on the preparation induced microroughness and electronic properties of wet-chemically passivated Si(111) substrates with special surface morphology. Stepped substrates with evenly distributed atomically flat terraces were prepared and passivated by thin oxide layers, which were used as a starting point for the subsequent H-termination after long storage in air. It was shown that their surface morphology and electronic properties do not degrade. Applying this preparation method to solar cell substrates with randomly distributed Si(111) pyramids, we achieved significantly lower densities of surface states and reduced recombination loss at a-Si:H/c-Si interfaces, compared with conventional pretreatments. The surface microroughness, the density of rechargeable states and the resulting recombination loss on a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunctions were found to be mainly influenced by two steps of surface pretreatment: firstly, the wet-chemical smoothing procedure of structured substrates and, secondly, the removal of native and wet-chemical oxides during the final etching in HF- or NH4F- containing solutions. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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