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Solar-Cell Suitable μc-Si Films Grown by ECR-CVD

  • M. Birkholz (a1), E. Conrad (a1), K. Lips (a1), B. Selle (a1), I. Sieber (a1), S. Christiansen (a2) and W. Fuhs (a1)...

Abstract

The preparation of μc-Si films from SiH4-H2 mixtures by electron-cyclotron resonance (ECR) CVD at deposition temperatures ≤ 400°C on foreign substrates is reported. Deposition conditions were identified for which Si films with a high degree of crystallinity were grown as was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. A factorial analysis was carried out, for which the influence of deposition temperature, microwave power, hydrogen dilution and total pressure on film growth were investigated. Samples of optimized crystallinity were prepared in a lowpressure and high-hydrogen dilution regime. In-plane grain sizes were measured by TEM and found to be on the order of 10 - 12 nm. Next to the optimization of crystallinity several sources of impurity contamination during film deposition were identified and eliminated. Intrinsic μc-Si layers could be prepared under these conditions that exhibited a dark conductivity σd of 2 × 10-7 S/cm and photosensitivity σph/σd of 150. It is concluded that ECR CVD is capable of producing intrinsic layers with electronic properties as necessary for use in state-of-the-art n-i-p μc-Si solar cells.

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