Light-induced degradation of copper-contaminated Si was first observed in early experiments performed by Henley et al.  and Tarasov et al.  in 1998, who observed a degradation of minority carrier diffusion length in 9-20 Ωcm p-type Cz-Si (see Figure 1 for an example of copper LID). Similar observations in B-doped FZ-Si, n-type Si and Ga-doped Si confirmed the occurrence of such degradation regardless of boron or oxygen concentration [3-5]. The existence of LID in intentionally Cu-contaminated Ga-doped Si (i.e. – absent of any BO-LID effects) confirmed the role of Cu in this degradation, leading to the definition of this mechanism as Cu-related light-induced degradation (Cu-LID).
Cu-LID has been shown to rely on the presence of interstitial Cu (Cui) in the bulk prior to illumination . The degradation rate of Cu-LID has since been observed to increase with increasing temperature , illumination intensity , interstitial Cu concentration  and oxygen/BMD concentration . Conversely, the degradation rate decreases with increasing doping concentration . Unlike BO-LID, only partial recovery of Cu-LID has been observed in Cz-Si and FZ-Si after annealing at 200 °C, and only if the concentration of Cui is below 1014 cm-3 , whilst no recovery has been observed in Si with higher Cui concentrations. However, high-temperature rapid-thermal-annealing (800-900 °C) has resulted in full defect dissociation .
Recent analysis of Cu-LID defects in Si by Inglese et al. using lifetime spectroscopy indicated that the most likely source of Cu-LID is a silicide-based precipitate of Cu . The Cu-LID defect recombination parameters identified by Inglese et al. also correspond with the recombination parameters determined for thermally-generated Cu precipitates as identified by Macdonald et al. , thus strengthening the hypothesis of Cu precipitates as the defect responsible for Cu-LID in Si.
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- Nampalli, N., et al., Rapid thermal anneal activates light induced degradation due to copper redistribution. Applied Physics Letters, 2018. 113(3): p. 032104-032104.
- Inglese, A., et al., Recombination activity of light-activated copper defects in p-type silicon studied by injection- and temperature-dependent lifetime spectroscopy. Journal of Applied Physics, 2016. 120(12): p. 125703.
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