Charge-carrier dynamics for silicon oxide tunneling junctions mediated by local pinholes

Zhenhai Yang, Zunke Liu, Mei Cui, Jiang Sheng, Li Chen, Linna Lu, Wei Guo, Xi Yang, Yunxing Zhao, Weichuang Yang, J. C. Greer, Yuheng Zeng, Baojie Yan, Jichun Ye

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Tunnel oxide passivating contact (TOPCon) technology has attracted much attention in the crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) community due to overwhelming advantages for device efficiency and cost. However, fundamental device physics of the core structure of TOPCon (i.e., the polycrystalline silicon [poly-Si]/silicon oxide [SiOx]/c-Si junction), are not yet fully understood. Here, we conduct extensive experiments and simulations to clarify the underlying dynamics of the junction featuring local pinholes, including pinhole formation processes and charge-carrier transport mechanisms. The pinhole formation process is investigated by following the film dynamics, which suggest that stress due to thermal expansion is probably responsible for SiOx film fracture. The carrier transport mechanism of the poly-Si/SiOx/Si junction is numerically investigated, revealing that tunneling charge-carrier transport couples with direct transport through pinholes. Moreover, a detailed current-recombination analysis in conjunction with predictions of device efficiencies is demonstrated, providing a specific technical route to promote device efficiencies to 27%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100667
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


  • TOPCon
  • carrier transport mechanism
  • passivation properties
  • pinhole
  • thermal expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Energy
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Charge-carrier dynamics for silicon oxide tunneling junctions mediated by local pinholes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this