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High-Efficiency Microcrystalline Silicon and Microcrystalline Silicon-Germanium Alloy Solar Cells

  • Takuya Matsui (a1) and Michio Kondo (a1)
Abstract

This paper presents our material studies on hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si:H) and microcrystalline silicon-germanium alloy (μc-Si1-xGex:H) thin films for the development of high efficiency p-i-n junction solar cells. In μc-Si:H solar cells, we have evaluated the structural properties of the intrinsic μc-Si:H layers grown by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition at high deposition rates (>2 nm/s). Several design criteria for the device grade μc-Si:H are proposed in terms of crystallographic orientation, grain size and grain boundary passivation. Meanwhile, in μc-Si1-xGex:H solar cells, we have succeeded in boosting the infrared response of solar cell upon Ge incorporation up to x∼0.2. Nevertheless, a degradation of solar cell parameters is observed for large Ge contents (x>0.2) and thick i-layers (> 1 μm), which is attributed to the influence of the Ge dangling bonds that act as acceptorlike states in undoped μc-Si1-xGex:H. To improve the device performance, we introduce an oxygen doping technique to compensate the native defect acceptors in μc-Si1-xGex:H p-i-n solar cells.

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