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A Thermodynamic Model for the Laser Fluence Ablation Threshold of PECVD SiO2 on Thin a-Si:H Films Deposited on Crystalline Silicon

  • Krister Mangersnes (a1) and Sean Erik Foss (a2)

We have developed a thermodynamic model that predicts the heat distribution in a stack of PECVD SiO2 and a-Si:H on crystalline Si after laser irradiation. The model is based on solving the total enthalpy heat equation with a finite difference scheme. The laser used in the model is a frequency doubled Nd:YVO4 green laser with pulse duration in the nanosecond range. The modeling was done with the aim of getting a better understanding of our newly developed laser ablation process for making local contacts on back-junction silicon solar cells. Lasers with pulse duration within the nanosecond range are usually believed to induce too much thermal damage into the underlying silicon to make them suitable for high efficiency solar cells. In our case, insertion of a thin layer of a-Si:H between the SiO2 and the Si absorbs much of the laser irradiation both optically and thermally. This makes it possible to form local contacts to Si in a damage-free way. In addition, the residual a-Si:H serves as an excellent surface passivation layer for the Si substrate. We have also developed a simple static model to determine the onset of SiO2 ablation on a-Si:H layers of varying thickness. The models, both the static and the dynamic, are in good agreement with experimental data.

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