Electron-blocking NiO/crystalline n-Si heterojunction formed by ALD at 175°C

Alexander H. Berg, Girija S. Sahasrabudhe, Ross A. Kerner, Barry P. Rand, Jeffrey Schwartz, James C. Sturm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Silicon heterojunction solar cells have been the subject of growing research interest. Such cells replace the typical p+nn+ or n+pp+ structure of standard devices with selective heterojunction contacts, which block one type of carrier while allowing the other to pass freely (Fig. 1) [1-3]. Previously [4], we demonstrated a PEDOT/n-Si/TiO2 heterojunction cell fabricated below 100°C with no p-n junctions in the Si. However, the organic polymer PEDOT is known to be unstable over long periods of time; furthermore, recent data indicates that the PEDOT/n-Si interface might be a non-ideal minority carrier emitter, leading to a high J0 and low upper limit to VOC. Therefore, we are currently investigating inorganic electron-blockers on crystalline silicon. Nickel oxide (NiO), because of its large conduction band offset and small valence band offset with silicon (Fig. 2) [5], is a potential candidate for electron-blocking on n-Si. Here, we report atomic layer deposited (ALD) metal/15nm-i-NiO/Si diodes. We find that the NiO film leads to a heterojunction which blocks electrons compared to diodes with the NiO omitted. The characteristics depend on the top metal, indicating that the NiO passivates the Si surface so that the Fermi level is depinned and diodes with a higher Schottky barrier height can be fabricated. Devices with Ag have electron-blocking and hole-transmitting behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication74th Annual Device Research Conference, DRC 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509028276
StatePublished - Aug 22 2016
Event74th Annual Device Research Conference, DRC 2016 - Newark, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2016Jun 22 2016

Publication series

NameDevice Research Conference - Conference Digest, DRC
ISSN (Print)1548-3770


Other74th Annual Device Research Conference, DRC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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