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Iron in silicon

The efficency of silicon photovoltaics is partly limited by recombination of charge carriers at impurities in the material and iron is known to have particularly deleterious effects. To measure iron concentrations to remarkably low levels (less than parts in a million million) we measure changes in lifetime that occur due to photodissociation of iron-boron pairs. We aim to study the behaviour of iron in silicon at low temperatures, including its solubility, bulk precipitation and surface precipitation. The ultimate aim of the research is improving the gettering of iron which will allow dirtier (hence cheaper) material to be used for silicon-based photovoltaics.

Key publications

The solubility of iron in silicon at low temperatures