Electronic Properties and Structure of Boron–Hydrogen Complexes in Crystalline Silicon

Joyce Ann T. De Guzman, Vladimir P. Markevich, José Coutinho, Nikolay V. Abrosimov, Matthew P. Halsall, Anthony R. Peaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The subject of hydrogen–boron interactions in crystalline silicon is revisited with reference to light and elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) in boron-doped solar silicon. Ab initio modeling of structure, binding energy, and electronic properties of complexes incorporating a substitutional boron and one or two hydrogen atoms is performed. From the calculations, it is confirmed that a BH pair is electrically inert. It is found that boron can bind two H atoms. The resulting BH2 complex is a donor with a transition level estimated at E c–0.24 eV. Experimentally, the electrically active defects in n-type Czochralski-grown Si crystals co-doped with phosphorus and boron, into which hydrogen is introduced by different methods, are investigated using junction capacitance techniques. In the deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) spectra of hydrogenated Si:P + B crystals subjected to heat-treatments at 100 °C under reverse bias, an electron emission signal with an activation energy of ≈0.175 eV is detected. The trap is a donor with electronic properties close to those predicted for boron–dihydrogen. The donor character of BH2 suggests that it can be a very efficient recombination center of minority carriers in B-doped p-type Si crystals. A sequence of boron–hydrogen reactions, which can be related to the LeTID effect in Si:B is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100459
JournalSolar RRL
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021


  • ab initio modeling
  • boron–hydrogen
  • DLTS
  • LeTID
  • passivation
  • silicon
  • solar cells

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Photon Science Institute


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