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Plasma nanotexturing of silicon surfaces for photovoltaics applications: Influence of initial surface finish on the evolution of topographical and optical properties

Published

Author(s)

Guillaume Fischer, Etienne Drahi, Martin Foldyna, Thomas Germer, Erik V. Johnson

Abstract

Using a plasma to generate a surface texture with feature sizes on the order of nanometers ("nanotexturing") is a promising technique being considered for application in thin, high- efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells. This study investigates the evolution of the optical properties of silicon samples with various initial surface finishes (from mirror polish to various states of micron-scale roughness) during a plasma nanotexturing process. It is shown that during said process, the appearance and growth of nanocone-like structures are essentially independent of the initial surface finish, as quantified by the auto-correlation function of the surface morphology. During the first stage of the process (2 min to 15 min etching), the reflectance and light-trapping abilities of the nanotextured surfaces are strongly influenced by the initial surface roughness; however, the differences tend to diminish as the nanostructures become larger. For the longest etching times (15 min or more), the effective reflectance is less than 5% and a strong anisotropic scattering behavior is also observed for all samples, leading to very elevated levels of light-trapping.
Citation
Optics Express
Volume
25
Issue
24

Keywords

black silicon, light-trapping, plasma nanotexturing, silicon photovoltaics

Citation

Fischer, G. , Drahi, E. , Foldyna, M. , Germer, T. and Johnson, E. (2017), Plasma nanotexturing of silicon surfaces for photovoltaics applications: Influence of initial surface finish on the evolution of topographical and optical properties, Optics Express, [online], https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.0A1057, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=923036 (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created November 26, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021