Characterization of local Al‐contacts by light beam induced current measurements and their verification by 2D simulation using flexPDE

Research paper by Renate Horbelt, Gabriel Micard, Philipp Keller, Giso Hahn, Reinhart Job, Barbara Terheiden

Indexed on: 14 Mar '16Published on: 08 Jan '16Published in: physica status solidi (a)


In recent years the relevance of passivated emitter and rear contact solar cells for industrial application increased due to significantly higher cell efficiencies compared to full area back surface field solar cells. However, the formation of local Al contacts is particularly sensitive to the manufacturing process parameters. Under non‐optimized conditions, the eutectic in local Al contacts is missing and so‐called voids are formed. So far, their impact onto the electrical parameters of the solar cells is not fully understood, mainly because of their difficult spatially resolved detection. Within this work the application of scanning acoustic microscopy circumvents this difficulty and allows a classification of local contacts in terms of “voids” or “filled contacts” on large cell area. The passivation quality of the BSF in the local contacts is investigated in detail through the local internal quantum efficiency (IQE) measured by light beam induced current (LBIC). It is found that there is a large spreading for the IQE values, attributed to a variation in BSF layer thickness. In addition, LBIC measurements of voids are fitted by 2D simulations, according to a detailed modelling of the surface recombination velocities (SRV) in local contacts. The final model is based on a non‐uniform SRV in the void's vicinity, attributed to laser damage close to the interface. It is demonstrated that the electrical parameters of the solar cell are affected by voids only when their surface is not sufficiently passivated by a local BSF.