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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 792357, 5 pages
Research Article

RF Magnetron Sputtering Aluminum Oxide Film for Surface Passivation on Crystalline Silicon Wafers

Institute for Solar Energy Systems, School of Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China

Received 30 October 2012; Revised 18 December 2012; Accepted 26 December 2012

Academic Editor: Ho Chang

Copyright © 2013 Siming Chen 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.


Aluminum oxide films were deposited on crystalline silicon substrates by reactive RF magnetron sputtering. The influences of the deposition parameters on the surface passivation, surface damage, optical properties, and composition of the films have been investigated. It is found that proper sputtering power and uniform magnetic field reduced the surface damage from the high-energy ion bombardment to the silicon wafers during the process and consequently decreased the interface trap density, resulting in the good surface passivation; relatively high refractive index of aluminum oxide film is benefic to improve the surface passivation. The negative-charged aluminum oxide film was then successfully prepared. The surface passivation performance was further improved after postannealing by formation of an SiOx interfacial layer. It is demonstrated that the reactive sputtering is an effective technique of fabricating aluminum oxide surface passivation film for low-cost high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells.