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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2007, Article ID 32707, 4 pages
Research Article

Wafer Surface Charge Reversal as a Method of Simplifying Nanosphere Lithography for Reactive Ion Etch Texturing of Solar Cells

Centre of Excellence for Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics and Photonics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia

Received 23 April 2007; Accepted 18 July 2007

Academic Editor: Armin G. Aberle

Copyright © 2007 Daniel Inns et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A simplified nanosphere lithography process has been developed which allows fast and low-waste maskings of Si surfaces for subsequent reactive ion etching (RIE) texturing. Initially, a positive surface charge is applied to a wafer surface by dipping in a solution of aluminum nitrate. Dipping the positive-coated wafer into a solution of negatively charged silica beads (nanospheres) results in the spheres becoming electrostatically attracted to the wafer surface. These nanospheres form an etch mask for RIE. After RIE texturing, the reflection of the surface is reduced as effectively as any other nanosphere lithography method, while this batch process used for masking is much faster, making it more industrially relevant.