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Charge transport in hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (µc-Si:H) is determined by structure on several size scales: i) local atomic arrangement (<1 nm), ii) crystalline grains and their boundaries (1-10 nm), iii) grain aggregates or columns (0.1-1 µm) and finally iv) features comparable to layer thickness (0.1-10 µm). We first summarize our experimental results concerning these effects: differences of conductivities of grains and amorphous tissue measured locally by conductive AFM, transport anisotropy observed by comparing dark conductivity and ambipolar diffusion length parallel and perpendicular to the substrate, and finally thickness dependence of transport parameters (e.g. dark conductivity activation energy and prefactor). Most of these phenomena can be described by using a novel model of the µc-Si:H growth leading to a structure known as Voronoi adjacency network. The model is based on the nearest neighbor constrained growth. To our knowledge, the Voronoi structure is the first structural model able to predict structure and transport properties of the µc-Si:H and it may become a basis for the future predictive model of µc-Si:H based solar cells.
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