Title: Large-area monocrystalline silicon thin films by annealing of macroporous arrays: Understanding and tackling defects in the material
Authors: Depauw, Valérie ×
Gordon, Ivan
Beaucarne, Guy
Poortmans, Jef
Mertens, Robert Pierre
Celis, Jean-Pierre #
Issue Date: Aug-2009
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Series Title: Journal of Applied Physics vol:106 issue:3
Article number: 033516
Abstract: A concept that could provide a thin monocrystalline-silicon absorber layer without resorting to the expensive step of epitaxy would be very appealing for reducing the cost of solar cells. The empty-space-in-silicon technique by which thin films of silicon can be formed by reorganization of regular arrays of cylindrical voids at high temperature may be such a concept if the high quality of the thin film could be ensured on centimeter-large areas. While previous works mainly investigated the influence of the porous array on the final structure, this work focuses on the practical aspects of the high-temperature step and its application to large areas. An insight into the defects that may form is given and the origin of these defects is discussed, providing recommendations on how to avoid them. Surface roughening, pitting, formation of holes, and silicon pillars could be attributed to the nonuniform reactions between Si, SiO2, and SiO. Hydrogen atmospheres are therefore preferred for reorganization of macroporous arrays. Argon atmospheres, however, may provide high-quality silicon thin films as well, possibly even more easily transferable, as long as annealing is performed in controlled, clean, and oxygen-free conditions. Our experiments on large areas also highlight the importance of kinetics, which had not been considered up to now and which will require further understanding to ensure a complete reorganization over any wafer area.
ISSN: 0021-8979
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Department of Materials Engineering - miscellaneous
Chemical and Extractive Metallurgy Section (-)
Associated Section of ESAT - INSYS, Integrated Systems
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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