Ambient stability of wet chemically passivated germanium wafer for crystalline solar cells
Surface passivation has been recognized as a crucial step in the evaluation of minority carrier lifetime of photovoltaic materials as well as in the fabrication of high efficient solar cells. Dilute acids of HF and HCl are employed for germanium (Ge) surface passivation. An effective lifetime of passivated Ge wafers has been evaluated by a microwave photoconductive decay (μ-PCD) measurement. Surface recombination velocities, S, of H- and Cl-terminated Ge surfaces are 23 and 37 cm/s, respectively. The stability of passivated Ge surfaces against exposure to air has also been examined. The HCl-passivated Ge surfaces are found to be more robust than HF-passivated surfaces.
Fig.1. (a) Effective lifetimes, τeff, and surface recombination velocities, S, and (b) minority carrier lifetime mapping of unpassivated, H-passivated, and Cl-passivated Ge wafers.
Source: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells