Amorphous Silicon Films and Solar Cells Deposited by HWCVD at Ultra-High Deposition Rates

A. Harv Mahan, Y. Xu, E. Iwaniczko, D. L. Williamson, B. P. Nelson, Q. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus Citations


The deposition conditions for hydrogenated amorphous silicon, deposited by hot wire chemical vapor deposition, are linked to the film structure as we increase deposition rates (Rd) to 100 Å/s. At low Rd (< 20 Å/s), films with optimal properties are deposited under low silane depletion conditions, and all measures of structure (X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, H evolution, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)) indicate a compact material. At high Rd (100 Å/s), optimum films are deposited under silane depletion conditions as high as 75-80%, and all structural properties except for the SAXS results once again indicate a compact material. We relate changes in the film electronic structure (Urbach edge) with increasing Rd to the increase in the SAXS signals, and note the invariance of the saturated defect density versus Rd, discussing reasons why these microvoids do not play a role in the Staebler-Wronski effect for these films. Finally, we present device results over the whole range of Rd that we have studied and suggest why, at high Rd, device quality films can be deposited at such high silane depletions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-32881


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