Fabrication of nano-crystalline silicon thin film at low temperature by using a neutral beam deposition method
ABSTRACT Low temperature (<80 °C) neutral beam deposition (LTNBD) was investigated as a new approach to the fabrication and development of nano-crystalline silicon (nc-Si), which has better properties than that of amorphous silicon (α-Si). The difference between LTNBD and conventional PECVD is that the film formation energy of the nc-Si in LTNBD is supplied by controlled neutral beam energies at a low temperature rather than by heating. Especially, in this study, the characteristics of the nc-Si thin film were investigated by adding 10% of an inert gas such as Ne, Ar or Xe to SiH4/H2. Increasing the beam energy resulted in an increase in the deposition rate, but the crystallinity was decreased, due to the increased damage to the substrate. However, the addition of a higher mass inert gas to the gas mixture at a fixed beam energy resulted not only in a higher deposition rate but also in a higher crystallization volume fraction. The high resolution transmission electron microscopy image showed that the grown film is composed of about 10 nm-size grains.
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ABSTRACT: This review article gives a comprehensive compilation of recent developments in low temperature deposited poly Si films, also known as microcrystalline silicon. Important aspects such as the effect of ions and the frequency of the plasma ignition are discussed in relation to a high deposition rate and the desired crystallinity and structure. The development of various ion energy suppression techniques for plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition and ion-less depositions such as HWCVD and expanding thermal plasma, and their effect on the material and solar cell efficiencies are described. The recent understanding of several important physical properties, such as the type of electronic defects, structural effects on enhanced optical absorption, electronic transport and impurity incorporation are discussed. For optimum solar cell efficiency, structural considerations and predictions using computer modelling are analysed. A correlation between efficiency and the two most important process parameters, i.e., growth rate and process temperature is carried out. Finally, the application of these poly Si cells in multijunction cell structures and the best efficiencies worldwide by various deposition techniques are discussed.Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 01/2003;
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ABSTRACT: Excimer laser crystallization is used to produce layered nanocrystalline silicon from hydrogenated amorphous silicon, using a partial melting process. Three types of hydrogenated amorphous silicon samples, 100, 300, and 500 nm thick, were laser treated in order to investigate the changes to the structural, optical, and electrical properties as a function of amorphous silicon thickness with excimer laser crystallization. The resulting nanocrystalline thin films were characterized using Raman spectroscopy, optical absorption measurements, atomic force microscopy, forward recoil spectrometry, and current-voltage measurements. The relationship of crystalline volume and laser energy density was established, along with the behavior of the optical gap and its relationship to hydrogen content. Surface roughness effects are discussed in the context of photovoltaic applications. The effect of increased mobility on photoconductivity after excimer laser crystallization is also examined.Journal of Applied Physics 05/2005; 97:114305. · 2.21 Impact Factor