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Phase diagrams have been established to describe very high frequency (vhf) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) processes for intrinsic hydrogenated silicon (Si:H) and silicon-germanium alloy (Si1-xGex:H) thin films using crystalline Si substrates that have been over-deposited with n-type amorphous Si:H (a-Si:H). The Si:H and Si1-xGex:H processes are applied for the top and middle i-layers of triple-junction a-Si:H-based n-i-p solar cells fabricated at University of Toledo. Identical n/i cell structures were co-deposited on textured Ag/ZnO back-reflectors in order to correlate the phase diagram and the performance of single-junction solar cells, the latter completed through over-deposition of the p-layer and top contact. This study has reaffirmed that the highest efficiencies for a-Si:H and a-Si1-xGex:H solar cells are obtained when the i-layers are prepared under maximal H2 dilution conditions.
At the University of Toledo (UT), we have investigated hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) n-i-p solar cells with intrinsic layers deposited at high rates, ~ 8 Å/s, using our UT multi-chamber load-locked PECVD system. a-Si:H i-layers were grown with a VHF plasma density of ~ 0.2 W/cm2 and a frequency of 70 MHz using various hydrogen dilution levels. It is observed from the current-voltage (I-V) device performance characteristics that the open-circuit voltage (Voc) increases with increasing hydrogen dilution reaching a maximum and then decreasing. This drop in Voc can be attributed to the transition region (or protocrystalline regime) from an amorphous phase into a mixed amorphous+nanocrystalline (a + nc) phase for the i-layer. An initial efficiency of 9.99% (Voc = 0.986 V, Jsc = 13.98 mA/cm2, FF = 72.5%) was obtained. Quantum efficiency (QE) measurement has shown that the blue light response increases as the hydrogen dilution increases. Very good blue light spectral response with QE values over 0.7 at the wavelength of 400 nm have been obtained for a-Si:H cells made under specific deposition conditions in which tailored protocrystalline silicon materials were incorporated at the i/p interface region.
As has been discussed, research on the electronic structure between organic and inorganic atoms in hybrid compounds has become important. In our study, DV—Xα method was employed to calculate the electronic structure of the hybrid compound. The information obtained from the calculation included orbit charge, bonding order, Fermi energy, density of the state, etc. The influence of organic and inorganic parts on the energy band structure of the hybrid compound was discussed based on the calculation results of Fermi energy and density of state. The chemical bonding between organic and inorganic parts in the hybrid compound was also analyzed in detail according to the orbital charges and bond orders.
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