Growth and morphological characterization of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film for a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells

Pehlivan, Özlem
Passivation of the crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafer surface and decreasing the number of interface defects are basic requirements for development of high efficiency a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells. Surface passivation is generally achieved by development of detailed silicon wafer cleaning processes and the optimization of PECVD parameters for the deposition of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon layer. a-Si:H layers are grown in UHV-PECVD system. Solar cells were deposited on the p type Cz-silicon substrates in the structure of Al front contact/a-Si:H(n)/a-Si:H(i)/c-Si(p)/Al back contact. Solar cell parameters were determined under standard test conditions namely, using 1000 W/m2, AM 1.5G illumination at 25 oC. Growth of (i) a-Si:H, films on the clean wafer surface was investigated as a function of substrate temperature, RF power density, gas flow rate, hydrogen dilution ratio and deposition time and was characterized using SEM, HRTEM, AFM, SE, ATR-FTIR and I/V measurements. Structural properties of the films deposited on silicon wafer surface are directly effective on the solar cell efficiency. Morphological characterization of the grown films on the crystalline surface was found to be very complex depending on the deposition parameters and may even change during the deposition time. At 225 oC substrate temperature, at the beginning of the deposition, (i) a-Si:H films was found grown in epitaxial structure, followed by a simultaneous growth of crystalline and amorphous structure, and finally transforming to complete amorphous structure. Despite this complex structure, an efficiency of 9.2% for solar cells with total area of 72 cm2 was achieved. In this cell structure, TCO and back surface passivation do not exist. In the 200 oC temperature region, we realized an existence of process window for the deposition temperature of intrinsic and n-doped layers in our PECVD system. From the post annealing studies, we have observed that solar cell parameters improve when the barrier energy reaches 1.2eV, which is in close agreement with the minimum photon energy for the observation of light induced defects (SWE) in a-Si:H. A model based on breaking of weak Si-Si bonds, bond switching and hydrogen passivation from interface is suggested to explain our results.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Pehlivan, “Growth and morphological characterization of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin film for a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.