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Bilayer–metal assisted chemical etching of silicon microwire arrays for photovoltaic applications
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Silicon microwires with lateral dimension from 5 μm to 20 μm and depth as long as 20 μm are prepared by bilayer metal assisted chemical etching (MaCE). A bilayer metal configuration (Metal 1 / Metal 2) was applied to assist etching of Si where metal 1 acts as direct catalyst and metal 2 provides mechanical support. Different metal types were investigated to figure out the influence of metal catalyst on morphology of etchedsilicon. We find that silicon microwires with vertical side wall are produced when we use Ag/Au bilayer, while cone–like and porous microwires formed when Pt/Au is applied. The different micro-/nano-structures in as-etched silicon are demonstrated to be due to the discrepancy of work function of metal catalyst relative to Si. Further, we constructed a silicon microwire arrays solar cells in a radial p–n junction configurations in a screen printed aluminum paste p–doping process.
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