Effect of hydrogen and deuterium on the microstructure of amorphous Si solar cell material

Sutter, E.; Williamson, D.L.
December 2003
Applied Physics Letters;12/22/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 25, p5166
Academic Journal
We investigate hydrogenated and deuterated amorphous Si (a-Si:H and a-Si:D) solar cell material, prepared under conditions of high hydrogen and deuterium dilution, respectively. Using cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, we provide direct observation of the microstructure of these materials. We observe that the high hydrogen dilution results in homogeneous a-Si:H material with no evidence of microvoids. In contrast, the replacement of hydrogen with deuterium produces a heterogeneous mixture of amorphous and microcrystalline material. The amorphous phase contains significant numbers of microvoids or low-density deuterium-rich domains. The observed heterogeneity is related to the effect of the substitution of hydrogen with deuterium on the microstructure of the Si film. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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