Bulk fabrication and properties of solar grade silicon microwires
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionApplied Physics Letters 2014, 2 10.1063/1.4902140
We demonstrate a substrate-free novel route for fabrication of solar grade silicon microwires for photovoltaic applications. The microwires are fabricated from low purity starting material via a bulk molten-core fibre drawing method. In-situ segregation of impurities during the directional solidification of the fibres yields solar grade silicon cores (microwires) where the concentration of electrically detrimental transition metals has been reduced between one and two orders of magnitude. The microwires show bulk minority carrier diffusion lengths measuring ∼40 μm, and mobilities comparable to those of single-crystal silicon. Microwires passivated with amorphous silicon yield diffusion lengths comparable to those in the bulk.