A method (50) is provided for processing a graded-density AR silicon surface (14) to provide effective surface passivation. The method (50) includes positioning a substrate or wafer (12) with a silicon surface (14) in a reaction or processing chamber (42). The silicon surface (14) has been processed (52) to be an AR surface with a density gradient or region of black silicon. The method (50) continues with heating (54) the chamber (42) to a high temperature for both doping and surface passivation. The method (50) includes forming (58), with a dopant-containing precursor in contact with the silicon surface (14) of the substrate (12), an emitter junction (16) proximate to the silicon surface (14) by doping the substrate (12). The method (50) further includes, while the chamber is maintained at the high or raised temperature, forming (62) a passivation layer (19) on the graded-density silicon anti-reflection surface (14).
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the Manager and Operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.