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6 March 2014 Laser annealing and simulation of amorphous silicon thin films for solar cell applications
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In this work, a picosecond DPSS and a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser have been used for the annealing and the partial nanocrystallization of an amorphous silicon layer. These experiments were conducted in order to improve the characteristics of a micromorph tandem solar cell. The laser annealing was attempted at 1064nm in order to obtain the desired crystallization’s depth and ratios. Preliminary annealing-processes, with different annealing parameters, have been tested, such as fluence, repetition rate and number of pulses. Irradiations were applied in the sub-melt regime, in order to prevent significant diffusion of p- and n-dopants to take place within the structure. The laser experimental work was combined with simulations of the laser annealing process, in terms of temperature distribution evolution, using the Synopsys Sentaurus Process TCAD software. The optimum annealing conditions for the two different pulse durations were determined. Experimentally determined optical properties of our samples, such as the absorption coefficient and reflectivity, were used for a more realistic simulation. From the simulations results, a temperature profile, appropriate to yield the desired recrystallization was obtained for the case of ps pulses, which was verified from the experimental results described below. The annealed material was studied, as far as it concerns its structural properties, by XRD, SEM and micro-Raman techniques, providing consistent information on the characteristics of the nanocrystalline material produced by the laser annealing experiments. It was found that, with the use of ps pulses, the resultant polycrystalline region shows crystallization’s ratios similar to a PECVD developed poly-Silicon layer, with slightly larger nanocrystallite’s size.
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I. Theodorakos, Y. S. Raptis, V. Vamvakas, D. Tsoukalas, and I. Zergioti "Laser annealing and simulation of amorphous silicon thin films for solar cell applications", Proc. SPIE 8967, Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing (LAMOM) XIX, 89670T (6 March 2014);

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