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Gas Phase Conditions for Obtaining Device Quality Amorphous Silicon at Low Temperature and High Deposition Rate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Jatindra Kumar Rath
Affiliation:
J.K.Rath@uu.nl, Utrecht University, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht, Netherlands
Minne de Jong
Affiliation:
M.M.deJong@phys.uu.nl, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Arjan Verkerk
Affiliation:
A.Verkerk@uu.nl, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Monica Brinza
Affiliation:
M.Brinza@uu.nl, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Ruud E.I. Schropp
Affiliation:
r.e.i.schropp@uu.nl, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to find a parameter space for deposition of amorphous silicon films at low substrate temperature by VHF PECVD process for application in solar cell fabrication on cheap plastics. Our studies show that at lower substrate temperature, keeping the pressure constant, the ion energy flux reaching the growth surface decreases, which we partly attribute to increasing gas phase collisions arising from an increase in gas density. The role of hydrogen is two fold: (1) higher hydrogen dilution increases the ion energy and restores it to its required value at low temperatures; (2) a normal to dusty plasma transition occurs at lower hydrogen to silane flow ratio and this transition regime shifts to higher dilution ratios for lower substrate temperatures. Thus the role of high hydrogen dilution at low temperature is to avoid the dusty regime. Thus the role of high hydrogen dilution at low temperature is to avoid the dusty regime. The ion energy flux at low substrate temperature can also be restored to the value obtained at high substrate temperature, without increasing hydrogen dilution, by simply lowering the chamber pressure or increasing the delivered plasma power, though the IEDFs in these cases differ substantially from the IEDF at high temperature conditions. We propose that a low pressure or high power in combination with a modest hydrogen dilution (high enough to avoid dusty regime) will deliver silicon films at low temperature without sacrificing deposition rate.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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