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Contamination Problems of Amorphous Silicon N-I-P Solar Cells on Metal Substrates

  • M. Goetz (a1), H. Keppner (a1), P. Pernet (a1), W. Hotz (a2) and A. Shah (a1)...


Commercial aluminium and stainless steel sheets were used as substrates for thin film silicon solar cell deposition. The influence of elemental contamination and disturbed film growth on solar cell performance and yield were studied. Diffusion during film growth was found to be more pronounced than thermally activated interdiffusion of existing films. Surface irregularities of the substrate are shown to reduce the fill factor of the solar cell. Initial efficiencies of 8.5% with single-junction amorphous silicon solar cells on both types of metal sheets were reached.



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1. United Solar Systems Corp., Troy, Michigan USA
2. Kattelus, H.P. and Nicolet, M-A. in Diffusion Phenomena in Thin Films and Microelectronic Materials, edited by Gupta, D. and Ho, P.S., Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, New Jersey, 1988, p. 439
3. Haque, M.S., Naseem, H.A., Brown, W.D., J. Appl. Phys. 75 (8), 3928 (1994)
4. Voc = Open-Circuit Voltage; FF = Fill Factor; Isc = Short-Circuit Current
5. Tatsumi, Y. and Ohsaki, H., Properties of Amorphous Silicon, INSPEC, London and New York, 1989, p. 469
6. Typical diffusion speed in thin films: surface > grain boundries and dislocations > lattice, Wittwer, M., J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 2 (2), 1984, p. 274


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