Influence of PH3 exposure on silicon substrate morphology in the MOVPE growth of III-V on silicon multijunction solar cells Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2013


  • 44


  • 46

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3727

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6463


  • Dual-junction solar cells formed by a GaAsP or GaInP top cell and a silicon bottom cell seem to be attractive candidates to materialize the long sought-for integration of III–V materials on silicon for photovoltaic applications. One of the first issues to be considered in the development of this structure will be the strategy to create the silicon emitter of the bottom subcell. In this study, we explore the possibility of forming the silicon emitter by phosphorus diffusion (i.e. exposing the wafer to PH3 in a MOVPE reactor) and still obtain good surface morphologies to achieve a successful III–V heteroepitaxy as occurs in conventional III–V on germanium solar cell technology. Consequently, we explore the parameter space (PH3 partial pressure, time and temperature) that is needed to create optimized emitter designs and assess the impact of such treatments on surface morphology using atomic force microscopy. Although a strong degradation of surface morphology caused by prolonged exposure of silicon to PH3 is corroborated, it is also shown that subsequent anneals under H2 can recover silicon surface morphology and minimize its RMS roughness and the presence of pits and spikes.


  • Physics