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Polycrystalline silicon thin films on glass by aluminum-induced crystallization

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4 Author(s)
Nast, Oliver ; Photovoltaics Special Res. Centre, New South Wales Univ., Kensington, NSW, Australia ; Brehme, S. ; Neuhaus, Dirk H. ; Wenham, S.R.

This work focuses on the development and characterization of device quality thin-film crystalline silicon layers directly onto low-temperature glass. The material requirements and crystallographic quality necessary for high-performance device fabrication are studied and discussed. The processing technique investigated is aluminum-induced crystallization (AIC) of sputtered amorphous silicon on Al-coated glass substrates. Electron and ion beam microscopy are employed to study the crystallization process and the structure of the continuous polycrystalline silicon layer. The formation of this layer is accompanied by the juxtaposed layers of Al and Si films exchanging places during annealing. The grain sizes of the poly-Si material are many times larger than the film's thickness. Raman and thin-film X-ray diffraction measurements verify the good crystalline quality of the Si layers. The electrical properties are investigated by temperature dependent Hall effect measurements. They show that the electrical transport is governed by the properties within the crystallites rather than the grain boundaries. The specific advantages of AIC are: (1) its simplicity and industrial relevance, particularly for the processes of sputter deposition and thermal evaporation, (2) it requires only low-temperature processing at 500°C, (3) its short processing times, and (4) its ability to produce polycrystalline material with good crystallographic and electrical properties. These advantages make the poly-Si material formed by AIC highly interesting and suitable for subsequent device fabrication such as for poly-Si thin-film solar cells

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 10 )