Wet chemical oxidation to improve interfacial properties of Al2O3/Si and interface analysis of Al2O3/SiOx/Si structure using surface carrier lifetime simulation and capacitance-voltage measurement

Kwan Hong Min, Sungjin Choi, Myeong Sang Jeong, Sungeun Park, Min Gu Kang, Jeong In Lee, Yoonmook Kang, Donghwan Kim, Hae Seok Lee, Hee Eun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A thin silicon oxide (SiOx) layer (thickness: 1.5-2.0 nm) formed at an Al2O3/Si interface can enhance the interface properties. However, it is challenging to control the characteristics of thin SiOx layers because SiOx forms naturally during Al2O3 deposition on Si substrates. In this study, a ~1.5 nm-thick SiOx layer was inserted between Al2O3 and Si substrates by wet chemical oxidation to improve the passivation properties. The acidic solutions used for wet chemical oxidation were HCl:H2O2:H2O, H2SO4:H2O2:H2O, and HNO3. The thicknesses of SiOx layers formed in the acidic solutions were ~1.48, ~1.32, and ~1.50 nm for SiOx-HCl, SiOx-H2SO4, and SiOx-HNO3, respectively. The leakage current characteristics of SiOx-HNO3 were better than those of the oxide layers formed in the other acidic solutions. After depositing a ~10 nm-thick Al2O3 on an SiOx-acidic/Si structure, we measured the effective carrier lifetime using quasi steady-state photoconductance and examined the interfacial properties of Al2O3/SiOx-acidic/Si using surface carrier lifetime simulation and capacitance-voltage measurement. The effective carrier lifetime of Al2O3/SiOx-HNO3/Si was relatively high (~400 µs), resulting from the low surface defect density (2.35-2.88 × 1010 cm−2eV−1). The oxide layer inserted between Al2O3 and Si substrates by wet chemical oxidation helped improve the Al2O3/Si interface properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1803
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr

Keywords

  • Aluminum oxide
  • Crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cell
  • Plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition
  • Quasi steady-state photoconductance
  • Silicon oxide
  • Surface passivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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