Many sustainability issues arise during the manufacturing processes that are currently used for solar cells. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that is independent of the earth’s resources, and it is therefore important for the development of more sustainable technologies. Microwave annealing (MW) has been proposed as a technically feasible fabrication scheme for large area silicon solar cells. Apart from that, microwave annealing has been demonstrated to be a promising alternative for repairing damage and electrically activating dopants in ion-implanted semiconductors for integrated circuit manufacturing. A microwave oven is cheaper than conventional furnace systems. In addition, microwave heating is much more efficient than conventional furnace heating, as heating is directly produced inside the material. This minimizes the loss of energy due to heating of the ambient. There is a need for more efficient processing techniques. In this study, microwave annealing is used as an alternative to the current post-implantation processing. Arsenic-doped silicon was microwave annealed (with an alumina-coated silicon carbide susceptor) to activate dopant atoms and to repair damage that was caused by ion implantation. Sheet resistance and Hall effect measurements were used to assess the extent of dopant activation. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) with ion channeling was conducted to determine the extent of recrystallization. The dopant activation and recrystallization resulting from microwave annealing is compared with that resulting from conventional rapid thermal annealing (RTA) with the same heating profile. The results show that when compared to RTA, susceptor-assisted microwave annealing results in better dopant activation for shorter anneal times under the same heating conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)