Characterisation results are presented for ohmic contacts to passivated crystalline silicon, formed using the point-contacting by localised dielectric breakdown technique. Self aligned contact is made between the metal and heavily doped\r
surface regions through an intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layer. Local doping is provided by a laser using a standard technique identical to that for selective emitter formation. Our results for gate metals of Au, Al, and Ti show that the technique does not rely on reactivity between the dielectric and the metal, excluding metal induced crystallisation from the contacting process. Diffusion of the gate metal into the dielectric is observed in transmission electron microscope images suggesting high temperatures are present locally during the breakdown process. The technique is equally applicable to contacting of n and p-type silicon, making it a potential alternative for ohmic contacting to silicon to passivated rear surfaces.
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