Silicon surface passivation by PEDOT: PSS functionalized by SnO2 and TiO2 nanoparticles

Garcia-Tecedor, M. , Karazhanov, S.Zh. , Vasquez, G.C. , Haug, H. , Maestre, D. , Cremades, A. , Taeno, M. , Ramirez-Castellanos, J. , Gonzalez-Calbet, J.M. , Piqueras, J. , You, C.C. , Marstein, E.S.
Nanotechnology, Vol. 29, no. 3 (2018), 035401. Published 13 December 2017
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In this paper, we present a study of silicon surface passivation based on the use of spin-coated hybrid composite layers. We investigate both undoped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly-(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), as well as PEDOT:PSS functionalized with semiconducting oxide nanomaterials (TiO2 and SnO2). The hybrid compound was deposited at room temperature by spin coating—a potentially lower cost, lower processing time and higher throughput alternative compared with the commonly used vacuum-based techniques. Photoluminescence imaging was used to characterize the electronic properties of the Si/PEDOT:PSS interface. Good surface passivation was achieved by PEDOT:PSS functionalized by semiconducting oxides. We show that control of the concentration of semiconducting oxide nanoparticles in the polymer is crucial in determining the passivation performance. A charge carrier lifetime of about 275 μs has been achieved when using SnO2 nanoparticles at a concentration of 0.5 wt.% as a filler in the composite film. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), energy dispersive x-ray in an SEM, and μ-Raman spectroscopy have been used for the morphological, chemical and structural characterization. Finally, a simple model of a photovoltaic device based on PEDOT:PSS functionalized with semiconducting oxide nanoparticles has been fabricated and electrically characterized.
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