Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 February 2011
The world's highest stabilized efficiency of 9.5% (light-soaked and measured by the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA)) for an a-Si/a-SiGe superstrate-type solar cell submodule (area: 1200 cm2) has been achieved. This value was obtained by investigating the effects of very-high hydrogen dilution of up to 54:1 (= H2: SiH4) on hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium (a-SiGe:H) deposition at a low substrate temperature (Ts). It was found that deterioration of the film properties of a-SiGe:H when Ts decreases under low hydrogen dilution conditions can be suppressed by the high hydrogen dilution. This finding probably indicates that the energy provided by hydrogen radicals substitutes for the lost energy caused by the decrease in Ts and that sufficient surface reactions can occur. In addition, results from an estimation of the hydrogen and germanium contents of a-SiGe:H suggest the occurrence of some kinds of structural variations by the high hydrogen dilution. A guideline for optimization of a-SiGe:H films for solar cells can be presented on the basis of the experimental results. The possibility of a-SiGe:H as a narrow gap material for a-Si stacked solar cells in contrast with microcrystalline silicon (μ c-Si:H) will also be discussed from various standpoints. At present, a-SiGe:H is considered to have an advantage over μ1 c-Si:H.
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