Thin Film Deposition of Silicon for Solar Cell Applications

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Vol: 51, Issue: 1, Page: 109-115

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Kumar, Sailesh; Hawk, Roger M.
Semiconductor and Optical Materials
article description
Thin films of silicon have been formed using a patented electrostatic deposition method which utilizes charged particle motion in an electric field. After deposition, the films are heat treated for varying times and temperatures in a programmable furnace maintained under a purified argon atmosphere. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed that these films were polycrystalline in nature. These films were found to have grain sizes of about 50 microns. Solar cells were fabricated using these large grained polycrystalline silicon films by sputtering pure gold as both front and back contacts. The cells have shown efficiencies of 1.8%. This paper reports on the growth of these large-grained polycrystalline thin silicon films and on the laser recrystallization setup to be used to increase the grain size up to 100 microns. Films grown via this electrostatic deposition method and subsequent laser recrystallization have a great potential for use in the solar cell industry.