Thin film solar cells based on polycrystalline silicon are an appealing option combining the advantages of thin film technologies, namely low cost, and the superior electrical properties of crystalline silicon. The specific structure aimed at in this work uses the relatively simple contacting scheme used in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells which relies on a front contact consisting of a transparent conducting oxide (TCO). Electron beam evaporation is applied as preparation method for the silicon films with high deposition rate. Solid phase crystallization (SPC) is used to crystallize the silicon films after deposition.
In this work the properties of as-deposited and crystallized silicon films produced by e beam evaporation are investigated as a function of deposition temperature. It is shown that the largest crystallites are obtained for deposition around 300 °C and subsequent treatment at 600 °C, while deposition at higher temperatures leads to small crystal grains which are not changed significantly during SPC.
Solar cells have been prepared on TCO-coated glass and were studied by measurements of the external quantum efficiency.