Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

Evolution of the mobility gap with thickness in hydrogen-diluted intrinsic Si:H materials in the phase transition region and its effect on p-i-n solar cell characteristics

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Conference Proceeding

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Materials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings

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Insights into the growth processes and evolution of microstructure in intrinsic hydrogenated silicon (Si:H) films obtained from real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry (RTSE) are extended to the characterization of the optoelectronic properties of the corresponding solar cells. To assess the effects of transition regions from the amorphous to mixed microcrystalline phases, cell structures with and without such regions at different depths in the i-layer from the p-contact have been investigated. Experimental results are presented that clearly demonstrate changes in the mobility gap, Eμ, of the materials as their microstructure evolves with thickness, further supporting the important effect of the hydrogen dilution ratio R (R≡[H2]/[SiH4]) on the transition between the amorphous and microcrystalline phases. Light J-V characteristics at room temperature and dark J-V characteristics at different temperatures were measured on p(a-SiC:H:B)-i(Si:H)-n(μc-Si:H:P) solar cell structures with i-layers of different thicknesses and R values. The mobility gaps of both the amorphous and microcrystalline intrinsic-layer materials as well as those of the transition layers are obtained from dark J(V,T) measurements. Using numerical simulation, both the light and the dark J-V characteristics are self-consistently modeled assuming sharp changes in the mobility gaps at the intrinsic layer transition thicknesses determined by RTSE.

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