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Porous silicon and aluminum co-gettering experiment in p-type multicrystalline silicon substrate

Author(s): P.N. Vinod

Journal: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
ISSN 1468-6996

Volume: 8;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 231;
Date: 2007;
Original page

The lifetimes of non-equilibrium minority carriers, which bound with the diffusion length, are considered as two important parameters of the low-quality multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) substrate. Its value defines the quality of the initial substrate. It is also subjected to change as a result of many high-temperature operations during the device fabrication. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate certain processing steps that either improve or preserve the electronic quality of the mc-Si substrate. In this study, a novel porous silicon and aluminum co-gettering experiment has been applied as a beneficial approach to improve the electronic quality of the low-resistivity mc-Si substrates. Porous silicon layers were prepared by anodization of the n+ silicon region by a simple electrochemical etching process using an aqueous HF-based electrolyte, which leads to the creation of porous silicon microcavities. Besides making porous silicon and aluminum co-gettered samples, both phosphorous and aluminum alloy-gettered samples and reference samples were made. The gettering-induced lifetime enhancement in the test samples was monitored by measuring the lifetime/diffusion length of the test samples using two independent methods such as photoconductivity decay (PCD) measurement and the photocurrent generation method (PCM), respectively. The result in both the measurements has shown a reasonably good agreement with each other. Therefore, it is inferred that the applied co-gettering experiment has a synergetic effect to improve the lifetime of the mc-Si substrate.
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