• Solar Energy

  • Sustainable Development

  • Engineering Reports

  • Free Access

Copyright 2024 - Custom text here


Ahmed S. Kagilik
Faculty of Engineering-Sabratah, Al-Zawia University Al-Zawia - Libya
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As an alternative to the wet chemical etching method, dry chemical etching processes for Phosphorus silicate glass [PSG} layer rel11ova] using Trifluormethane/Sulfur Hexafluoride (CHF3/ SF6) gas mixture in commercial silicon-nitride plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (SiN-PECVD) system is applied. The dependence of the solar cell performance on the etching temperature is investigated and optimized. It is found that the SiN-PECVD system temperature variation has a significant impact on the whole solar cell characteristics. A dry plasma cleaning treatment of the Si wafer surface after the PSG removal step is also investigated and developed. The cleaning step is used to remove the polymer film which is formed during the PSG etching using both oxygen and hydrogen gases. By applying an additional cleaning step, the polymer film deposited on the silicon wafer surface after PSG etching is eliminated. The effect of different plasma cleaning conditions on solar cell performance is investigated. After optimization of the plasma operating conditions, the performance of the solar cell is improved and the overall gain in efficiency of 0.6 % absolute is yielded compared to a cell without any further cleaning step. On the other hand, the best solar cell characteristics can reach values close to that achieved by the conventional wet chemical etching processes demonstrating the effectiveness of the additional O2/H2 post cleaning treatment. 


Solar Cells, crystalline silicon, PSG, Plasma etching

Download PDF:

"Dry Phosphorus silicate glass etching and surface conditioning and cleaning for multi-crystalline silicon solar cell processing"