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Application of phosphorus diffusion gettering process on upgraded metallurgical grade Si wafers and solar cells

H.B. Xu, R.J. Hong, B. Ai, L. Zhuang and H. Shen

Applied Energy, 2010, vol. 87, issue 11, 3425-3430

Abstract: Although phosphorus (P) diffusion gettering process has been wildly used to improve the performance of Si solar cells in photovoltaic technology, it is a new attempt to apply P diffusion gettering process to upgraded metallurgical grade silicon (UMG-Si) wafers with the purity of 99.999%. In this paper, improvements on the electrical properties of UMG-Si wafers and solar cells were investigated with the application of P diffusion gettering process. To enhance the improvements, the gettering parameters were optimized on the aspects of gettering temperature, gettering duration and POCl3 flow rate, respectively. As we expected, the electrical properties of both multicrystalline Si (multi-Si) and monocrystalline Si (mono-Si) wafers were significantly improved. The average minority carrier lifetime increased from 0.35Â [mu]s to nearly about 2.7Â [mu]s for multi-Si wafers and from 4.21Â [mu]s to 5.75Â [mu]s for mono-Si wafers, respectively. Accordingly, the average conversion efficiency of the UMG-Si solar cells increased from 5.69% to 7.03% for multi-Si solar cells (without surface texturization) and from 13.55% to 14.55% for mono-Si solar cells, respectively. The impurity concentrations of as-grown and P-gettered UMG-Si wafers were determined quantitively so that the mechanism of P diffusion gettering process on UMG-Si wafers and solar cells could be further understood. The results show that application of P diffusion gettering process has a great potential to improve the electrical properties of UMG-Si wafers and thus the conversion efficiencies of UMG-Si solar cells.

Keywords: Phosphorus; diffusion; gettering; Upgraded; metallurgical; grade; Si; Minority; carrier; lifetime; Impurity; content; Conversion; efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:87:y:2010:i:11:p:3425-3430