Application of Hydrosilane-Free Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition of SiOx Films in the Manufacture of Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
In this work we present SiOx films deposited in cost-effective laboratory scale three-dimensional printed atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition setup. As SiOx films are deposited at room temperature without complex vacuum systems, they can be a good candidate for the use in commercial c-Si solar cell production lines. The quality of the deposited films was investigated as to their integrity, conformity with various surfaces, and post-treatment resilience such as stability against etchants and annealing. Several applications of the SiOx film prepared with the atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) were discussed. In one application, the APCVD SiOx was utilized to effectively promote single-side texturing of Float Zone and Czochralski Si wafers by coating only one side with SiOx and subsequently annealing prior to texturing in an alkaline aqueous solution. Another application was to exploit the APCVD SiOx as a plating mask for silicon heterojunction solar cells. Two processing options prior to the oxide-film deposition were investigated: i) application of an Ag seed-layer, which promotes subsequent electroplating, and ii) printing of an organic grid, which, after stripping, creates openings in the SiOx that facilitate electroplating of the solar cell's electrode on the underlying transparent conducting oxide. In a different application, the APCVD SiOx films acted as protection against parasitic plating on the front side of passivated emitter and rear solar cells. The deposited films were characterized by ellipsometry, hemispherical reflectance measurements, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and optical microscopy.