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Interactions Of Structural Defects With Metallic Impurities In Multicrystalline Silicon

  • S. A. McHugo (a1), H. Hieslmair (a2), E. R. Weber (a2), M. D. Rosenblum (a3) and J. P. Kalejs (a3)...

Abstract

Interactions between structural defects and metallic impurities were studied in multicrystalline silicon for solar cell applications. The objective was to gain insight into the relationship between solar cell processing, metallic impurity behavior and the resultant effect on material/device performance. With an intense synchrotron x-ray source, high sensitivity x-ray fluorescence measurements were utilized to determine impurity distributions with a spatial resolution of ≈ lμm. Diffusion length mapping and final solar cell characteristics gauged material/device performance. The materials were tested in both the as-grown state and after full solar cell processing. Iron and nickel metal impurities were located at structural defects in asgrown material, while after solar cell processing, both impurities were still observed in low performance regions. These results indicate that multicrystalline silicon solar cell performance is directly related to metal impurities which are not completely removed during typical processing treatments. A discussion of possible mechanisms for this incomplete removal is presented.

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