Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

Title

Thickness evolution of the microstructural and optical properties of Si:H films in the amorphous-to-microcrystalline phase transition region

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

12-1-2002

Journal

Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference

First Page

1076

Last Page

1081

Abstract

The ability to characterize the phase of the intrinsic (i) layers incorporated into amorphous silicon [a-Si:H] and microcrystalline silicon [μc-Si:H] thin film solar cells is critically important for cell optimization. In this research, a new method has been developed to extract the thickness evolution of the μc-Si:H volume fraction in mixed phase amorphous + microcrystalline silicon [(a+mu;c)-Si:H] i-layers. This method is based on real time spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements performed during plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of the films. In the analysis, the thickness at which crystallites first nucleate from the a-Si:H phase can be estimated, as well as the nucleation density and microcrystallite cone angle. The results show very good correlations with structural and electronic device measurements.

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