In this work, the applicability of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) on high-quality ultra-thin poly-Si based passivating contacts is explored. Parasitic absorption caused by poly-Si layers can be minimized by reducing the poly-Si layer thickness. However, TCO deposition on poly-Si contacts, commonly by sputtering, results in severe deposition-induced damage and further aggravates the surface passivation for thinner poly-Si layers (<20 nm). Although a thermal treatment at elevated temperature (∼350 °C) can be used to partially repair the surface passivation quality, the contact resistivity severely increases due to the formation of a parasitic oxide layer at the poly-Si/ITO interface. Alternatively, we show that PLD TCOs can be used to mitigate the damage on ultra-thin (∼10 nm) poly-Si layers. Further improvement in poly-Si contact passivation can be achieved by increasing the deposition pressure while low contact resistivities (∼45 mΩ cm2) and good thermal stability (up to 350 °C) are achieved with a PLD indium-doped tin oxide (ITO) layer on high-quality ultra-thin poly-Si(n+) contacts. This allows for the application of a highly transparent front side contact by combining the excellent opto-electrical properties of a PLD ITO film with a 10 nm thin poly-Si contact.
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