Characterization and fabrication of silicon thin films for solar cell applications

Karaman, Mehmet
In this thesis study, fabrication and characterization of silicon thin films prepared by magnetron sputtering and electron beam evaporation for solar cell applications have been investigated. In the first part of the study, magnetron sputtering method was used to fabricate thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) film on a Si substrate. Some samples were prepared on glass substrate for the basic characterizations like transmission and resistivity. Dark and illuminated I-V characteristics of the silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells were studied as a function of material type and process parameters. It was observed that devices show diode characteristics, however their response to the illumination was quite weak. Low performance of the devices was discussed in terms of the resistivity and dopability of the sputtered film. The second part of the thesis deals with the fabrication and characterization of thin polysilicon films fabricated by e-beam evaporation. In order to dope the deposited Si films, a very thin boron film v was deposited by e-beam evaporation on SiO2 surface thermally grown on a Si wafer. Then an a-Si was evaporated by the same technique. Samples were annealed for polysilicon formation by using the technique called solid phase crystallization (SPC). The annealing was performed in two steps. The first step was the nucleation part, carried out at 475°C for 8 hours and the second step was the diffusion and crystallization parts that are accomplished at 900°C for several minutes. The Raman measurements revealed out the crystallinity and grain size. The crystallinity of the polysilicon thin films was also identified by X-Ray diffraction measurements. Finally, the Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) analysis was carried out to find out the amount of boron that diffuses into Si film. It was found that a graded boron profile, which is desirable for the solar cell applications, was achieved.
Citation Formats
M. Karaman, “Characterization and fabrication of silicon thin films for solar cell applications,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.