RIE surface texturing for optimum light trapping in multicrystalline silicon solar cells


Optical losses by reflection and transmission of the incident light should be reduced to improve the efficiency of solar cells. Compared with antireflection coatings, surface texturing is a more persistent and effective solution aiming at reducing light reflection losses. Alkali (NaOH, KOH) or acidic (HF, HNO3, CH3COOH) chemicals are used in conventional solar cell production lines for wet chemical texturing. However, Surface texturing is too difficult to apply to solar cell fabrication with thinner wafers due to the large amount of silicon loss caused by saw damage removal (SDR) and the texturing process for multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si). In order to solve the problems, reactive ion etching (RIE) has been applied for surface texturing of solar cell wafers. The RIE method can be effective in the reducing surface reflection with low silicon loss. In this study, we, therefore, fabricated a large-area (243.3 cm2) mc-Si solar cell by maskless surface texturing using a SF6/O2 RIE process. Also, we achieved a conversion efficiency (Eff), open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current density (Jsc) and fill factor (FF) as high as 17.2%, 616 mV, 35.1 mA/cm2, and 79.6%, respectively, which are suitable for fabricating thin crystalline silicon solar cells at low cost and with high efficiency.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    J. Zhao, W. Aihua and M. A. Green, Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 1992 (1998).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    D. H. Macdonald, A. Cuevas, M. J. Kerr, C. Samundsett, D. Ruby, S. Winderbaum and A. Leo, Sol. Energy 76, 278 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    K. J. Weber and A. W. Blakers, Prog. Photovoltics Res. Appl. 13, 691 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    M. A. Blauw, T. Zijlstra, R. A. Bakker and E. van der Drift, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., B 18, 3454 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    G. Craciun, M. A. Blauw, E. van der Drift and P. J. French, in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors Actuators (Munich, Germany, June 10–14, 2001), p. 612.

  6. [6]

    P. Path, G. Wileke, E. Bucher, J. Szlufcic, R. M. Murti, K. De Clercq, J. Nijs and R. Mertens, in Proceedings of 24th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (Waikoloa, Hawaii, December 5–9, 1994), p. 1347.

  7. [7]

    W. A. Nositschka, O. Voigt, P. Manshanden and H. Kurz, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 80, 228 (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    H. Jansen et al., J. Micromech. Microeng. 5, 115 (1995).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    W. A. Nositschka, C. Beneking, O. Voigt and H. Kurz, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 76, 155 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    S. Schaefer and R. Lüdemamn, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., A 17, 750 (1999).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    V. Y. Yerokhov, R. Hezel, M. Lipinski, R. Ciach, H. Nagel, A. Mylyanych and P. Panek, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 72, 291 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    Y. Nishimoto, T. Ishihara and K. Namba, J. Electrochem. Soc. 146, 457 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    M. J. Stocks, A. J. Carr and A. W. Blakers, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 40, 35 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    M. A. Green, A. Wang, J. Zhao, S. Wenham, P. Campbell and D. Thorp, in The 13th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (Nice, France, October 23–27, 1995), p. 13.

  15. [15]

    H. Jansen, M. de Boer, H. Wensink, B. Kloeck and M. Elwenspoek, Microelecron. J. 31, 770 (2001).

    Google Scholar 

  16. [16]

    J. S. Yoo, G. J. Yu and J. Yi, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 95, 2 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. [17]

    G. Kumaravelu, M. M. Alkaisi and A. Bittar, in Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Conference Record of the Twenty-Ninth IEEE (Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 19–24, 2002), p. 259.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jinsu Yoo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yoo, J., Cho, J., Han, K. et al. RIE surface texturing for optimum light trapping in multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Journal of the Korean Physical Society 60, 2071–2074 (2012). https://doi.org/10.3938/jkps.60.2071

Download citation


  • Solar cell
  • Multicrystalline silicon
  • Reactive ion etching
  • Passivation
  • Surface texturing