Boron-doping of cubic SiC for intermediate band solar cells: a scanning transmission electron microscopy study

Patricia Almeida Carvalho, Annett Thørgesen, Quanbao Ma, Daniel Nielsen Wright, Spyros Diplas, Augustinas Galeckas, Alexander Azarov, Valdas Jokubavicius, Jianwu Sun, Mikael Syväjärvi, Bengt Gunnar Svensson, Ole Martin Løvvik

SciPost Phys. 5, 021 (2018) · published 6 September 2018


Boron (B) has the potential for generating an intermediate band in cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC), turning this material into a highly efficient absorber for single-junction solar cells. The formation of a delocalized band demands high concentration of the foreign element, but the precipitation behavior of B in the 3C polymorph of SiC is not well known. Here, probe-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and secondary-ion mass spectrometry are used to investigate precipitation mechanisms in B-implanted 3C-SiC as a function of temperature. Point-defect clustering was detected after annealing at 1273 K, while stacking faults, B-rich precipitates and dislocation networks developed in the 1573 - 1773 K range. The precipitates adopted the rhombohedral B13C2 structure and trapped B up to 1773 K. Above this temperature, higher solubility reduced precipitation and free B diffused out of the implantation layer. Dopant concentrations E19 were achieved at 1873 K.

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Boron (B) Secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) Silicon carbide (SiC) Solar cells Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

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