For solar cell application, the stability of interface passivation quality to in-field conditions is crucial. We have performed an experiment to test the resilience of different aluminium oxide based passivation schemes to illumination at 75°C. Different thermal treatments to activate the passivation and/or simulate contact firing were performed before light soaking. The experiment was performed on 1 Ωcm float-zone silicon of both p- and n-type doping. The study demonstrates that good passivation quality can be achieved both by atomic layer deposition and by PECVD and that addition of silicon nitride capping layers greatly enhances thermal stability. On p-type wafers a severe but temporary degradation of the electrical quality of the wafer bulk was observed during the first hours upon application of such capping layers. Besides this effect, reasonable temporal stability of the effective lifetime was observed for p-type samples while n-type samples featured excellent long-term stability.
Niewelt, T., Kwapil, W., Selinger, M., Richter, A., & Schubert, M. C. (2017). Stability of effective lifetime of float-zone silicon wafers with AlOx surface passivation schemes under illumination at elevated temperature. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 124, pp. 146–151). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.09.320