Epitaxial Crystal Silicon Absorber Layers and Solar Cells Grown at 1.8 Microns per Minute: Preprint

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    We have grown device-quality epitaxial silicon thin films at growth rates up to 1.8 ..mu..m/min, using hot-wire chemical vapor deposition from silane at substrate temperatures below 750 degrees C. At these rates, which are more than 30 times faster than those used by the amorphous and nanocrystalline Si industry, capital costs for large-scale solar cell production would be dramatically reduced,even for cell absorber layers up to 10 ?m thick. We achieved high growth rates by optimizing the three key parameters: silane flow, depletion, and filament geometry, based on our model developed earlier. Hydrogen coverage of the filament surface likely limits silane decomposition and growth rate at high system pressures. No considerable deterioration in PV device performance is observed whengrown at high rate, provided that the epitaxial growth is initiated at low rate. A simple mesa device structure (wafer/epi Si/a-Si(i)/a-Si:H(p)/ITO) with a 2.3 um epitaxial silicon absorber layer was grown at 700 nm/min. The finished device had an open-circuit voltage of 0.424 V without hydrogenation treatment.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 2011
    Event37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 37) - Seattle, Washington
    Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011


    Conference37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 37)
    CitySeattle, Washington

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-5200-50708


    • epitaxial crystal silicon
    • PV
    • silicon
    • thin films


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