• multicrystalline silicon;
  • co-firing step;
  • iron;
  • extended gettering;
  • defect engineering


This work implements an optimization of the phosphorus gettering effect during the contact co-firing step by means of both simulations and experiments in an industrial belt furnace. An optimized temperature profile, named ‘extended co-firing step’, is presented. Simulations show that the effect of the short annealing on the final interstitial iron concentration depends strongly on the initial contamination level of the material and that the ‘extended co-firing’ temperature profile can enhance the gettering effect within a small additional time. Experimental results using sister wafers from the same multicrystalline silicon ingot confirm these trends and show the potential of this new defect engineering tool to improve the solar cell efficiency (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)