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We report on a simple experiment in which the thickness of a hyperdoped silicon layer, supersaturated with sulfur by ion implantation followed by pulsed laser melting and rapid solidification, is systematically varied at constant average sulfur concentration, by varying the implantation energy, dose, and laser fluence. Contacts are deposited and the external quantum efficiency (EQE) is measured for visible wavelengths. We posit that the sulfur layer primarily absorbs light but contributes negligible photocurrent, and we seek to support this by analyzing the EQE data for the different layer thicknesses in two interlocking ways. In the first, we use the measured concentration depth profiles to obtain the approximate layer thicknesses, and, for each wavelength, fit the EQE layer thickness curve to obtain the absorption coefficient of hyperdoped silicon for that wavelength. Comparison to literature values for the hyperdoped siliconabsorption coefficients [S.H. Pan Applied Physics Letters , 121913 (2011)] shows good agreement. Next, we essentially run this process in reverse; we fit with Beer’s law the curves of EQE hyperdoped siliconabsorption coefficient for those wavelengths that are primarily absorbed in the hyperdoped silicon layer, and find that the layer thicknesses obtained from the fit are in good agreement with the original values obtained from the depth profiles. We conclude that the data support our interpretation of the hyperdoped silicon layer as providing negligible photocurrent at high S concentrations. This work validates the absorption data of Pan [Applied Physics Letters , 121913 (2011)], and is consistent with reports of short mobility-lifetime products in hyperdoped layers. It suggests that for optoelectronic devices containing hyperdoped layers, the most important contribution to the above band gap photoresponse may be due to photons absorbed below the hyperdoped layer.


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