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Growth of Polycrystalline GaAs for Solar Cell Applications

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2 Author(s)
A. E. Blakeslee ; IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598, USA ; S. M. Vernon

Films of polycrystalline GaAs have been grown on foreign substrates by the metal-organic process. The main objective was to produce films with as large a grain size as possible, so that high-efficiency photovoltaic devices may eventually be fabricated from such thin film/substrate structures. At 973 K the average grain size was less than 1 µm, and was unaffected by the choice of substrate. Increasing the deposition temperature to 1123 K, while maintaining all other conditions the same, resulted in grains as large as 10 to 20 µm in diameter. Grain sizes as large as 10 µm could be obtained by precoating the substrates with thin films of evaporated gold or tin. However, both of these methods gave films that were discontinuous. A two-step procedure in which the films were nucleated at 873 K prior to growth at 1123 K yielded continuous films with an average grain size of 5 µm. Schottky barrier solar cells fabricated from these films exhibited short-circuit current densities as high as 15.7 mA/cm2, even though the highest conversion efficiency (AM0, uncoated) was only 1.3 percent because of the low fill factor (0.28).

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 4 )