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Analysis methods for meso- and macroporous silicon etching baths

Julia B Nehmann1*, Sarah Kajari-Schröder1 and Detlef W Bahnemann2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), Am Ohrberg 1, Emmerthal, 31860, Germany

2 Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, Hannover, 30167, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:398  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-398

Published: 17 July 2012

Abstract

Analysis methods for electrochemical etching baths consisting of various concentrations of hydrofluoric acid (HF) and an additional organic surface wetting agent are presented. These electrolytes are used for the formation of meso- and macroporous silicon. Monitoring the etching bath composition requires at least one method each for the determination of the HF concentration and the organic content of the bath. However, it is a precondition that the analysis equipment withstands the aggressive HF. Titration and a fluoride ion-selective electrode are used for the determination of the HF and a cuvette test method for the analysis of the organic content, respectively. The most suitable analysis method is identified depending on the components in the electrolyte with the focus on capability of resistance against the aggressive HF.

Keywords:
chemical analysis; silicon etching; bath composition; organic content; hydrofluoric acid.; 88.40.H solar cells (photovoltaics); 88.40.jj silicon solar cells; 82.45.Gj electrolytes.