We propose an implementation of the PCD technique to minority carrier effective lifetime assessment in crystalline silicon at 77K. We focus here on (n)-type, FZ, polished wafers passivated by a-Si:H deposited by PECVD at 200°C. The samples were immersed into liquid N2 contained in a beaker placed on a Sinton lifetime tester. Prior to be converted into lifetimes, data were corrected for the height shift induced by the beaker. One issue lied in obtaining the sum of carrier mobilities at 77K. From dark conductance measurements performed on the lifetime tester, we extracted an electron mobility of 1.1x104 cm².V-1.s-1 at 77K, the doping density being independently calculated in order to account for the freezing effect of dopants. This way, we could obtain lifetime curves with respect to the carrier density. Effective lifetimes obtained at 77K proved to be significantly lower than at RT and not to depend upon the doping of the a-Si:H layers. We were also able to experimentally verify the expected rise in the implied Voc, which, on symmetrically passivated wafers, went up from 0.72V at RT to 1.04V at 77K under 1 sun equivalent illumination.
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Courtois, G., Bruneau, B., Sobkowicz, I.P. et al. Carrier Lifetime Measurements by Photoconductance at Low Temperature on Passivated Crystalline Silicon Wafers. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1536, 119–125 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2013.600