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Materials and Interface Optimization of Heterojunction Silicon (HIT) Solar Cells Using in-situ Real-Time Spectroscopic Ellipsometry

  • D.H. Levi (a1), C.W. Teplin (a1), E. Iwaniczko (a1), R.K. Ahrenkiel (a1), H.M. Branz (a1), M.R. Page (a1), Y. Yan (a1), Q. Wang (a1) and T.H. Wang (a1)...


We have applied real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry (RTSE) as both an in-situ diagnostic and post-growth analysis tool for hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H)/crystalline silicon (c-Si) heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer (HIT) solar cells grown by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition. RTSE enables precise thickness control of the 5 to 25 nm layers used in these devices, as well as monitoring crystallinity and surface roughness in real time. Utilizing RTSE feedback, but without extensive optimization, we have achieved a photovoltaic energy conversion efficiency of 14.1% on an Al-backed p-type Czochralski c-Si wafer coated with thin i and n layers on the front. Open-circuit voltages above 620 mV indicate effective passivation of the c-Si surface by the a-Si:H intrinsic layer. Lifetime measurements using resonant coupled photoconductive decay indicate that surface recombination velocities can approach 1 cm/s. RTSE and transmission electron microscopy show that the intrinsic a-Si:H i-layers grow as a mixture of amorphous and nano-crystalline silicon.



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