Production of amorphous silicon / p-type crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells by sputtering and PECVD methods

Eygi, Zeynep Deniz
Silicon heterojunction solar cells, a-Si:H/c-Si, are promising technology for future photovoltaic systems. An a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cell combines the advantages of single crystalline silicon photovoltaic with thin-film technologies. This thesis reports a detailed survey of heterojunction silicon solar cells with p-type wafer fabricated by magnetron sputtering and Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) techniques at low processing temperature. In the first part of this study, magnetron sputtering method was employed to fabricate a-Si:H thin films and then a-Si:H/c-Si solar cells. Amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films were grown on glass in order to perform electrical and optical characterizations. The J-V characteristics of the silicon heterojunction solar cells were analyzed as a function of a-Si:H properties. It was shown that a-Si thin films with well-behaved chemical and electronic properties could be fabricated by the magnetron sputtering. Hydrogenation of the grown film could be achieved by H2 introduction into the chamber during the sputtering. In spite of the good film properties, fabricated solar cells had poor photovoltaic parameters with a low rectification characteristic. This low device performance was caused by high resistivity and low doping concentration in the sputtered film. The second part of the thesis is dedicated to heterojunction solar cells fabricated by PECVD. In this part a systematic study of various PECVD processing parameters were carried out to optimize the a-Si:H(n) emitter properties for the a-Si:H(n)/c-Si(p) solar cell applications. In the next stage, a thin optimized a-Si:H(i) buffer layer was included on the emitter side and on the rear side of the c-Si(p) to improve the surface passivation. Insertion of an a-Si:H(i) buffer layer yielded higher high open circuit voltage (Voc) with lower fill factor. It was shown that high Voc is due to the efficient surface passivation by the front/rear intrinsic layer which was also confirmed by the measurement of high effective lifetime for photo-generated carriers. Low fill factor on the other hand is caused by increasing resistivity of the solar cells by inserting low conductivity a-Si:H(i) layers.


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Citation Formats
Z. D. Eygi, “Production of amorphous silicon / p-type crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells by sputtering and PECVD methods,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.