Minimising bulk lifetime degradation during the processing of interdigitated back contact silicon solar cells

Tasmiat Rahman*, Alexander To, Michael E. Pollard, Nicholas E. Grant, Jack Colwell, David N. R. Payne, John D. Murphy, Darren M. Bagnall, Bram Hoex, Stuart A. Boden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


In this work, we develop a fabrication process for an interdigitated back contact solar cell using BBr3 diffusion to form the p+ region and POCl3 diffusion to form the n+ regions. We use the industry standard technology computer-aided design modelling package, Synopsys Sentaurus, to optimize the geometry of the device using doping profiles derived from electrochemical capacitance voltage measurements. Cells are fabricated using n-type float-zone silicon substrates with an emitter fraction of 60%, with localized back surface field and contact holes. Key factors affecting cell performance are identified including the impact of e-beam evaporation, dry etch damage, and bulk defects in the float zone silicon substrate. It is shown that a preoxidation treatment of the wafer can lead to a 2 ms improvement in bulk minority carrier lifetime at the cell level, resulting in a 4% absolute efficiency boost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • defects
  • float-zone
  • IBC
  • RIE
  • silicon


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