Low temperature thin film silicon solar cells prepared by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition

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(Thesis) M.A.Sc.
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Thin film amorphous silicon (a-Si) is a low cost alternative to crystalline silicon wafers used in solar cells. a-Si is advantageous in that it can be deposited onto low cost substrates such as glass or flexible polymers, is scalable to large areas, and uses low processing temperatures (< 250°C). The main drawback is that a-Si degrades upon exposure to light. Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H), on the other hand, deposited in the same method as a-Si but with added hydrogen gas, is stable against light induced degradation and has sensitivity at longer wavelengths. In this work, intrinsic nc-Si:H is prepared by hot-wire chemical vapor deposition, a technique which has potential for high deposition rates and easy large area scale-up. Films are characterized by Raman Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy and electrical conductivity measurements. Thin film solar cells are fabricated and characterized by I-V and quantum efficiency measurements.
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