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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2007, Article ID 83657, 11 pages
Research Article

Rapid Thermal Annealing and Hydrogen Passivation of Polycrystalline Silicon Thin-Film Solar Cells on Low-Temperature Glass

Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

Received 24 April 2007; Revised 24 August 2007; Accepted 16 October 2007

Academic Editor: Xian An Cao

Copyright © 2007 Mason L. Terry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The changes in open-circuit voltage (Voc), short-circuit current density (Jsc), and internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of aLuminum induced crystallization, ion-assisted deposition (ALICIA) polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on low-temperature glass substrates due to rapid thermal anneal (RTA) treatment and subsequent remote microwave hydrogen plasma passivation (hydrogenation) are examined. Voc improvements from 130 mV to 430 mV, Jsc improvements from 1.2 mA/cm2 to 11.3 mA/cm2, and peak IQE improvements from 16% to > 70% are achieved. A 1-second RTA plateau at 1000°C followed by hydrogenation increases the Jsc by a factor of 5.5. Secondary ion mass spectroscopy measurements are used to determine the concentration profiles of dopants, impurities, and hydrogen. Computer modeling based on simulations of the measured IQE data reveals that the minority carrier lifetime in the absorber region increases by 3 orders of magnitude to about 1 nanosecond (corresponding to a diffusion length of at least 1 μm) due to RTA and subsequent hydrogenation. The evaluation of the changes in the quantum efficiency and Voc due to RTA and hydrogenation with computer modeling significantly improves the understanding of the limiting factors to cell performance.