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Hot wire cell (HW-cell) method has been developed in order to grow microcrystalline silicon (/spl mu/c-Si) thin films. A novel 2-step growth method was proposed in order to reduce an incubation layer in the initial growth of /spl mu/c-Si i-layer. By using this method, Jsc largely increased (10.11? 18.32 mA/cm/sup 2/), as a result, the conversion efficiency of 3.9% could be achieved. Up to now, a conversion efficiency of 6.0% (Voc: 0.50 V, Jsc: 19.69 mA/cm/sup 2/, F.F.: 0.61, AM1.5) was obtained for /spl mu/c-Si solar cells with an i-layer thickness of 0.8 /spl mu/m. Furthermore, high rate depositions were investigated and a maximum deposition rate of 11.5 nm/s could be achieved. /spl mu/c-Si solar cells fabricated at a high deposition rate of 1.5 nm/s showed a conversion efficiency of 2.8% (Voc: 0.42V, Jsc: 12.31 mA/cm/sup 2/, F.F.: 0.54, AM1.5).