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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number GR/S28297/01
Title Low cost surface passivation of silicon solar cells by HiTUS deposition of thin film silicon nitride
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr M Boreland
No email address given
Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Loughborough University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2003
End Date 30 September 2006
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £120,272
Industrial Sectors Electronics; Energy
Region East Midlands
Programme Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng, Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr M Boreland , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , BP Solar Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , PlasmaQuest Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This project will explore a cost reducing production technology for the PV industry. In particular the project plans to demonstrate the "Proof of Concept" viability of HiTUS deposited SiN for surface passivation of wafer based Si solar cells, as a replacement for the current PECVD techniques. HiTUS (High Target Utilisation Sputtering) deposition is a recent development in sputtering technology, which uses a remote-plasma ion sputtering technique. As the HiTUS method does not usesilane, an expensive and dangerous, pyrophoric gas, it offers major capital and safety cost advantages over PECVD. Moreover, the remote-plasma configuration minimises ion bombardment of the SiN film, negating the root cause of poor surface passivation using sputtered SiN films. The configuration also provides pseudo-separation of deposition parameters offering superior process control. Using an iterative process of deposition and analysis, the project will map the parameter space and optimiseHiTUSbased SiN deposition. Surface recombination velocity, measured by Quasi Steady State lifetime testing, will be the central performance indicator. The multi-round set of experiments will start with plain wafers, followed by emitter-diffused wafers, and finally be applied to commercially relevant solar cells processed by BP Solar
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07