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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 487406, 8 pages
Research Article

PECVD Silicon Nitride Passivation on Boron Emitter: The Analysis of Electrostatic Charge on the Interface Properties

Centre for Sustainable Energy System, School of Engineering, The Australian National University, Building 32 North Road, Acton, Canberra 0200, Australia

Received 9 March 2010; Accepted 10 June 2010

Academic Editor: Chang Sun

Copyright © 2010 Natalita M. Nursam 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.


The dependence of surface recombination of boron diffused and undiffused silicon surfaces passivated with a-Si N 𝑥 :H on the net charge density is investigated in detail. The films are deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition using a 2.45 GHz microwave remote plasma system. The surface charge density on the samples is varied by depositing charge using a corona discharge chamber. Excess carrier lifetime, capacitance-voltage, and Kelvin probe measurements are combined to determine the surface recombination velocity and emitter saturation current density as a function of net charge density. Our results show that the application of negative charge causes a substantial reduction in the surface recombination of samples with boron diffused emitters, even for high boron surface concentrations of 5 × 1 0 1 9 c m 3 . The significant difference observed in surface recombination between boron diffused and undiffused sample under accumulation implies that the presence of boron diffusion has results in some degradation of the Si-Si N 𝑥 interface. Further, (111) oriented surfaces appear more sensitive to the boron surface concentration than (100) oriented surfaces.