In situ ellipsometry reveals that particle formation influences the growth of glow discharge a-Si:H. This particle formation is observed even under discharge conditions leading to the deposition of device quality Material. It is found that less dense material is deposited during the particle-induced initial transient stage of the discharge which influences the properties of the subsequently growing “bulk” film. The effect of special power gradient ignition procedures is discussed. A significant increase of solar cell efficency is achieved by choosing “soft” start conditions for the i-layer deposition.
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