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ZnO:Al films deposited by in-line reactive AC magnetron sputtering for a-Si:H thin film solar cells

: Sittinger, V.; Ruske, F.; Werner, W.; Szyszka, B.; Rech, B.; Hüpkes, J.; Schöpe, G.; Stiebig, H.


Thin solid films 496 (2006), No.1, pp.16-25
ISSN: 0040-6090
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IST ()
Aluminium; amorpher Halbleiter; Ätzen; Wasserstoff; Zwei-Sechs-Verbindung; Halbleiterwachstum; Halbleiterdünnschicht; Silicium; Sonnenzelle; Sputterabscheidung; Sputterüberzug; Rauigkeit; Halbleiter mit großer Energielücke; Zinkverbindung; Oberflächenstruktur; Oberfläche; Glassubstrat; Siliciumhydrid; Siliciumdioxid; wasserstoffdotiertes Silicium; aluminum-doped zinc oxide film; solar cell; sputter deposition

Throughout the last years strong efforts have been made to use aluminium doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) films on glass as substrates for amorphous or amorphous/microcrystalline silicon solar cells. The material promises better performance at low cost especially because ZnO:Al can be roughened in order to enhance the light scattering into the cell. Best optical and electrical properties are usually achieved by RF sputtering of ceramic targets. For this process deposition rates are low and the costs are comparatively high. Reactive sputtering from metallic Zn/Al compound targets offers higher rates and a comparable high film quality in respect to transmission and conductivity. In the presented work the process has been optimised to lead to high quality films as shown by reproducible cell efficiencies of around 9% initial for single junction amorphous silicon solar cells on commercial glass substrates. The crucial point for achieving high efficiencies is to know the dependency of the surface structure after the roughening step, which is usually performed in a wet etch, on the deposition parameters like oxygen partial pressure, aluminium content of the targets and temperature. The most important insights are discussed and the process of optimisation is presented.