Dip Coating Passivation of Crystalline Silicon by Lewis Acids

Wenbo Ji, Yingbo Zhao, Hossain M. Fahad, James Bullock, Thomas Allen, Der-Hsien Lien, Stefaan De Wolf, Ali Javey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The reduction of carrier recombination processes by surface passivation is vital for highly efficient crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells and bulk wafer metrological characterization. Herein, we report a dip coating passivation of silicon surfaces in ambient air and temperature with Nafion, achieving a champion effective carrier lifetime of 12 ms on high resistivity n-type c-Si, which is comparable to state-of-the-art passivation methods. Nafion is a nonreactive polymer with strong Lewis acidity, thus leading to the formation of a large density of fixed charges at silicon surface, 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than what is achievable with conventional thin-film passivation layers. Notably, Nafion passivates the c-Si surface only by the fixed charges without chemical modification of dangling bonds, which is fundamentally different from the common practice of combining chemical with field-effect passivation. This dip coating process is simple and robust, without the need for complex equipment or parameter optimization as there is no chemical reaction involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3723-3729
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2019


  • charge transfer
  • crystalline silicon
  • Lewis acids
  • Nafion
  • room-temperature passivation


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