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This paper reviews recent progress in large-area a-Si/a-SiGe tandem solar cells in Sanyo. Much effort has been devoted to increasing both the stabilized efficiency and the process throughput. A key issue in increasing the stabilized efficiency is thinner i-layer structure with an improved optical confinement effect. High-rate deposition of the i-layers has been investigated using rf (13.56MHz) plasma-CVD method while keeping the substrate temperature below 200 °C. A high photosensitivity of 106 of a-Si:H films maintain up to the deposition rate (Rd) of 15 Å/s by optimizing hydrogen dilution and other deposition conditions. It is of great importance to utilize the effect of hydrogen dilution which can reduce the incorporation of excess hydrogen in the films. The world's highest conversion efficiency of 11.2% has been achieved for a large-area (8252cm2) a-Si/a-SiGe tandem by combining the optimized hydrogen dilution and other solar cell related technologies.
The incidence and circumstances of colonization by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were prospectively investigated. Among 404 patients, 15 (3.7%) were carriers on admission, and 43 (10.6%) became colonized, mainly after surgical operation. A different mode of transmission was suggested in each ward.
The world's highest stabilized efficiency of 9.5% (light-soaked and measured by the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA)) for an a-Si/a-SiGe superstrate-type solar cell submodule (area: 1200 cm2) has been achieved. This value was obtained by investigating the effects of very-high hydrogen dilution of up to 54:1 (= H2: SiH4) on hydrogenated amorphous silicon germanium (a-SiGe:H) deposition at a low substrate temperature (Ts). It was found that deterioration of the film properties of a-SiGe:H when Ts decreases under low hydrogen dilution conditions can be suppressed by the high hydrogen dilution. This finding probably indicates that the energy provided by hydrogen radicals substitutes for the lost energy caused by the decrease in Ts and that sufficient surface reactions can occur. In addition, results from an estimation of the hydrogen and germanium contents of a-SiGe:H suggest the occurrence of some kinds of structural variations by the high hydrogen dilution. A guideline for optimization of a-SiGe:H films for solar cells can be presented on the basis of the experimental results. The possibility of a-SiGe:H as a narrow gap material for a-Si stacked solar cells in contrast with microcrystalline silicon (μ c-Si:H) will also be discussed from various standpoints. At present, a-SiGe:H is considered to have an advantage over μ1 c-Si:H.
Power ultrasound of 20 kHz was applied to the synthesis of silica spheres via the controlled hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS). Silica spheres of about 0.3 μm were agglomerated to form tolerably uniform, dense particles of about 2 μm through 90 min sonication. This agglomeration behavior was examined by laser diffraction particle size analysis and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that the agglomeration process involves (I) an incubation period in which no agglomeration occurs, (II) rapid formation of ramified particles, and (III) their densification. It was inferred that sonication enhances collision among silica spheres.
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