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Controlling the optical performance of transparent conducting oxides using direct laser interference patterning

: Berger, Jana; Roch, Teja; Correia, Stelio; Eberhardt, Jens; Lasagni, Andrés-Fabián


Thin solid films 612 (2016), pp.342-349
ISSN: 0040-6090
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()
thin-film solar cell; transparent conducting oxide; direct laser interference patterning; light management; diffraction gratings; surface engineering

In this study, a laser based process called Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP) was used to fabricate micro-textured boron doped zinc oxide (ZnO:B) thin films to be used as electrodes in thin-film silicon solar cells. First, the ablation thresholds of the ZnO:B film were determined using a nanosecond pulsed laser at wavelengths of 266 and 355 nm (100 mJ/cm2 and 89 mJ/cm2, respectively). After that, DLIP experiments were performed at 355 nm wavelength. Line-like periodic surface structures with spatial periods ranging from 0.8 to 5.0 μm were fabricated using two interfering laser beams. It was found that the structuring process of the transparent conducting oxide (TCO) is mainly based on a photo-thermal mechanism. The surface of the ZnO:B film was molten and evaporated at the interference maxima positions and the depth and width of the generated microfeatures depend on the laser parameters as well as the spatial period of the interference pattern. The optical properties of the structured TCOs were investigated as a function of the utilized laser processing parameters. Both diffuse and total transmission and the intensity of the diffraction orders were determined. These data were used to calculate the increase of the optical path of the transmitted light.