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Defect characterization of polycrystalline silicon layers obtained by aluminum-induced crystallization and epitaxy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Dries Van Gestel
Affiliation:
Dries.VanGestel@imec.be, IMEC, SCT, Kapeldreef 75, Leuven, B-3001, Belgium, +32 16 28 86 83, +32 16 28 15 01
Ivan Gordon
Affiliation:
Ivan.Gordon@imec.be, IMEC, Leuven, B-3001, Belgium
Lodewijk Carnel
Affiliation:
Lodewijk.Carnel@imec.be, IMEC, Leuven, B-3001, Belgium
Guy Beaucarne
Affiliation:
Guy.Beaucarne@imec.be, IMEC, Leuven, B-3001, Belgium
Jef Poortmans
Affiliation:
Jef.Poortmans@imec.be, IMEC, Leuven, B-3001, Belgium
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Abstract

To reduce the harmful influence of grain boundaries in polycrystalline Si layers we make absorber layers on foreign substrates with columnar grains with a grain width larger than the grain thickness. Such layers with a grain size in the range of ~1-100 µm can be obtained by aluminum-induced crystallization and epitaxy. Until now however, the open-circuit voltage of solar cells made from such layers was quasi-independent of the grain size. To understand this fact, defect etching and Electron Backscattered diffraction (EBSD) measurements were performed to investigate the crystallographic defects. A very large density (~ 109 cm-2) of intra-grain defects (IGD) was found. Room temperature Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) measurements were done to localize and investigate the electrically active defects. The intra-grain defects found with defect etching showed a strong recombination activity. These results indicate that the unexpected quasi-independence on the grain size of the open-circuit voltage of our pc-Si solar cells is due to the presence of numerous electrically active intra-grain defects.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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References

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