Influence of pulse duration on the doping quality in laser chemical processing (LCP)—a simulative approach
The laser chemical processing (LCP) technique for the local doping of crystalline silicon solar cells is investigated. Here, a liquid jet containing a dopant source acts as a waveguide for pulsed laser light, which results in the melting and subsequent doping of the silicon surface. Typical LCP pulse durations are in the 15 ns range, giving satisfactory results for specific parameter settings. While great potential is assumed to exist, optimization of the pulse duration has until now not been deeply investigated, because it is hard to change this parameter in laser systems. Therefore, this paper accesses the influence of the pulse duration by a simulative approach. The model includes optics, thermodynamics, and melt dynamics induced by the liquid jet and dopant diffusion into the silicon melt. It is solved by coupling our existing finite differences Matlab-code LCPSim with the commercial fluid flow solver Ansys Fluent. Simulations of axial symmetric single pulses were performed for pulse durations ranging from 15 ns to 500 ns. Detailed results are given, which show that for longer pulse durations lateral heat conduction significantly homogenizes the inhomogeneous dopant distribution caused by the speckled intensity profile within the liquid jet cross section. The melt expulsion by the liquid jet is low enough that a sufficiently doped layer remains after full resolidification for all pulse durations. Last, temperature gradients are evaluated to give an indication on the amount of laser damage induced by thermal stress.