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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015, Article ID 790242, 7 pages
Research Article

Influence of Substrate on Crystal Orientation of Large-Grained Si Thin Films Formed by Metal-Induced Crystallization

1Institute of Applied Physics, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
2The Wakasa Wan Energy Research Center, Tsuruga, Fukui 914-0192, Japan
3Materials, Physics and Energy Engineering, Nagoya University, Aichi 464-8603, Japan
4Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST, 5 Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0075, Japan

Received 17 July 2014; Revised 18 December 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Serap Gunes

Copyright © 2015 Kaoru Toko 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.


Producing large-grained polycrystalline Si (poly-Si) film on glass substrates coated with conducting layers is essential for fabricating Si thin-film solar cells with high efficiency and low cost. We investigated how the choice of conducting underlayer affected the poly-Si layer formed on it by low-temperature (500°C) Al-induced crystallization (AIC). The crystal orientation of the resulting poly-Si layer strongly depended on the underlayer material: (100) was preferred for Al-doped-ZnO (AZO) and indium-tin-oxide (ITO); (111) was preferred for TiN. This result suggests Si heterogeneously nucleated on the underlayer. The average grain size of the poly-Si layer reached nearly 20 µm for the AZO and ITO samples and no less than 60 µm for the TiN sample. Thus, properly electing the underlayer material is essential in AIC and allows large-grained Si films to be formed at low temperatures with a set crystal orientation. These highly oriented Si layers with large grains appear promising for use as seed layers for Si light-absorption layers as well as for advanced functional materials.