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Bonded hydrogen in nanocrystalline silicon photovoltaic materials: Impact on structure and defect density

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4 Author(s)
Xu, L. ; Laboratory of Condensed Matter Spectroscopy and Opto-Electronic Physics, Key Laboratory of Artificial Structures and Quantum Control (Ministry of Education), Department of Physics, and Institute of Solar Energy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China ; Li, Z. P. ; Wen, C. ; Shen, W. Z.

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We have performed a detailed structural and optical investigation of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) thin films prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The microstructural properties of these thin films are characterized and interpreted physically based on the growth mechanism. Infrared spectroscopy reveals that the bonded hydrogen in a platelet-like configuration, which is believed to be located at grain boundaries, greatly affects oxygen incursions into nc-Si:H thin films, whereas electron spin resonance observations link these incursions to the introduction of dangling bond defects. Consequently, we propose that in nc-Si:H thin films, high bonded-hydrogen content in grain boundaries is of great importance in forming hydrogen-dense amorphous tissues around the small crystalline grains, i.e., compact grain boundary structures with good passivation. Such structures effectively prevent post-deposition oxidation of grain boundary surfaces, which might lead to the formation of dangling bond defects.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:110 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2011

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