Crystalline silicon passivation with amorphous silicon carbide layers

Mathieu Boccard, Alec Jackson, Zachary Holman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Amorphous silicon enables the fabrication of very high-efficiency crystalline-silicon-based solar cells due to its combination of excellent passivation of the crystalline silicon surface and permeability to electrical charges. Yet, amongst other limitations, the passivation it provides degrades upon high-temperature processes, limiting possible post-deposition fabrication possibilities (e.g. forcing the use of low-temperature silver pastes). We previously evidenced the superior temperature stability of low-carbon-content intrinsic amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiCx:H) passivating layers to sidestep this issue, and investigate here in more details the reason for the improved temperature stability. The passivation from intrinsic a-SiCx:H layers is shown to first improved upon annealing, and then degrade past 350 °C. The initial passivation can be improved and the degradation postponed by capping the a-SiCx:H layer by an a-Si:H film. We compare here the passivation provided by stacks of a-Si:H and a-SiCx:H, and investigate the hydrogen bonding and content of these films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781509027248
StatePublished - Nov 18 2016
Event43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016 - Portland, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2016Jun 10 2016

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • amorphous silicon
  • amorphous silicon carbide
  • hydrogen
  • passivation
  • temperature stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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