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Thin-Film Polycrystalline-Silicon Solar Cells on Ceramic Substrates Made by Aluminum-Induced Crystallization and Thermal CVD

  • Ivan Gordon (a1), Dries Van Gestel (a2), Lode Carnel (a3), Kris Van Nieuwenhuysen (a4), Guy Beaucarne (a5) and Jef Poortmans (a6)...

Abstract

A considerable cost reduction could be achieved in photovoltaics if efficient solar cells could be made from thin polycrystalline-silicon (pc-Si) layers. Aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC) of amorphous silicon followed by epitaxial thickening is an effective way to obtain large-grained pc-Si layers with excellent properties for solar cells. To obtain efficient solar cells, the electronic quality of the pc-Si material obtained by AIC has to be optimized and the cell design has to be adapted to the material. In this paper, we report on pc-Si solar cells made by AIC in combination with thermal CVD on ceramic alumina substrates. We made pc-Si solar cells on alumina substrates that showed Voc values up to 533 mV and efficiencies up to 5.9%. This is the highest efficiency ever achieved with pc-Si solar cells on ceramic substrates where no (re)melting of silicon was used. We demonstrate that the quality of the pc-Si material can be improved drastically by reducing the substrate roughness using spin-on oxides. We further show that a-Si/c-Si heterojunctions lead to much higher Voc values than diffused homojunctions. A cell concept that incorporates spin-on oxides and heterojunction emitters is therefore best suited to obtain efficient pc-Si solar cells on alumina substrates.

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[2] Gordon, I., Gestel, D. Van, Nieuwenhuysen, K. Van, Carnel, L., Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Thin Solid Films 487, 113 (2005).
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[4] K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, Duerinckx, F., Kuzma, I., Gestel, D. Van, Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Journal of Crystal Growth 287, 438 (2006).
[5] Carnel, L., Gordon, I., Nieuwenhuysen, K. Van, Gestel, D. Van, Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Thin Solid Films 487, 147 (2005).
[6] Gestel, D. Van, Gordon, I., Carnel, L., Nieuwenhuysen, K. Van, Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Proceedings of the 15th International Photovoltaic Science & Engineering Conference, pp. 853854 (2005).
[7] Gestel, D. Van, Gordon, I., Carnel, L., Pickney, L., Mayolet, A., Haen, J. D, Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Paper presented at this conference
[8] Carnel, L., Gordon, I., Gestel, D. Van, Nieuwenhuysen, K. Van, Agostinelli, G., Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Accepted for publication in Thin Solid Films (2006), doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2005.12.069
[9] Carnel, L., Dekkers, H.F.W., Gordon, I., Gestel, D. Van, Nieuwenhuysen, K. Van, Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., IEEE Electron Device Letters 27, 163 (2006).
[10] Beaucarne, G., Bourdais, S., Slaoui, A., and Poortmans, J., Proceedings of the 28th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists conference, pp. 128131 (2000).
[11] Gordon, I., Gestel, D. Van, Carnel, L., K. Van Nieuwenhuysen, Irigoyen, J., Beaucarne, G., and Poortmans, J., Proceedings of the 20th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, pp. 972975 (2005).

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