Journal Article Reduction in interface defect density in p-BaSi2/n-Si heterojunction solar cells by a modified pretreatment of the Si substrate

Yamashita, Yudai  ,  Yachi, Suguru  ,  Takabe, Ryota  ,  Sato, Takuma  ,  Bayu, Miftahullatif Emha  ,  Toko, Kaoru  ,  Suemasu, Takashi

57 ( 2 )  , p.025501 , 2018-01 , The Japan Society of Applied Physics
We have investigated defects that occurred at the interface of p-BaSi2/n-Si heterojunction solar cells that were fabricated by molecular beam epitaxy. X-ray diffraction measurements indicated that BaSi2 (a-axis-oriented) was subjected to in-plane compressive strain, which relaxed when the thickness of the p-BaSi2 layer exceeded 50 nm. Additionally, transmission electron microscopy revealed defects in the Si layer near steps that were present on the Si(111) substrate. Deep level transient spectroscopy revealed two different electron traps in the n-Si layer that were located at 0.33 eV (E1) and 0.19 eV (E2) below the conduction band edge. The densities of E1 and E2 levels in the region close to the heterointerface were approximately 1014 cm−3. The density of these electron traps decreased below the limits of detection following Si pretreatment to remove the oxide layers from the n-Si substrate, which involved heating the substrate to 800 °C for 30 min under ultrahigh vacuum while depositing a layer of Si (1 nm). The remaining traps in the n-Si layer were hole traps located at 0.65 eV (H1) and 0.38 eV (H2) above the valence band edge. Their densities were as low as 1010 cm−3. Following pretreatment, the current versus voltage characteristics of the p-BaSi2/n-Si solar cells under AM1.5 illumination were reproducible with conversion efficiencies beyond 5% when using a p-BaSi2 layer thickness of 100 nm. The origin of the H2 level is discussed.

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