Growth of Silicon Thin Layers on Cast MG-Si from Metal Solutions for Solar Cells

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    In pursuit of device-quality layer formation cast, metallurgical-grade silicon (MG-Si) substrates for solar cells, the growth kinetics of silicon liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) from metal solutions was studied. We found an ideal solvent system, Cu-Al, for growth of Si layers with thicknesses of tens of microns on cast MG-Si substrates by LPE at temperature near This solvent systemutilizes Al to ensure good wetting between the solution and the substrate by removing silicon native oxides, and employees Cu to control Al doping into the layers. Isotropic grown is achieved because of a high concentration of solute silicon in the solution and the resulting microscopically rough interface. As a result, macroscopically smooth Si layers have been grown on cast MG-Si that aresuitable for device fabrication. With the microscopically rough interface, the growth rate has been studied with a diffusional model involving a boundary layer that takes the melt convection into account. The model was found to be in good agreement with experimental results, indicating only a small boundary layer (..apprx..0.1 cm) and a silicon diffusivity of ..apprx.. 2X10-4 cm2 s-1 in theliquid. The thin layer ( grown on the MG-Si substrate has a minority-carrier diffusion length greater than the layer thickness.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)19-30
    Number of pages12
    JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
    Issue number1-4
    StatePublished - 1996

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/JA-21748


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