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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 907610, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/907610
Research Article

Texture-Etched SnO2 Glasses Applied to Silicon Thin-Film Solar Cells

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuo Kuang Road, Taichung 40227, Taiwan
2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 51591, Taiwan

Received 13 December 2013; Revised 8 February 2014; Accepted 9 February 2014; Published 18 March 2014

Academic Editor: Sheng-Po Chang

Copyright © 2014 Bing-Rui Wu 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.

Abstract

Transparent electrodes of tin dioxide (SnO2) on glasses were further wet-etched in the diluted HCl:Cr solution to obtain larger surface roughness and better light-scattering characteristic for thin-film solar cell applications. The process parameters in terms of HCl/Cr mixture ratio, etching temperature, and etching time have been investigated. After etching process, the surface roughness, transmission haze, and sheet resistance of SnO2 glasses were measured. It was found that the etching rate was increased with the additions in etchant concentration of Cr and etching temperature. The optimum texture-etching parameters were 0.15 wt.% Cr in 49% HCl, temperature of 90°C, and time of 30 sec. Moreover, silicon thin-film solar cells with the p-i-n structure were fabricated on the textured SnO2 glasses using hot-wire chemical vapor deposition. By optimizing the texture-etching process, the cell efficiency was increased from 4.04% to 4.39%, resulting from the increment of short-circuit current density from 14.14 to 15.58 mA/cm2. This improvement in cell performances can be ascribed to the light-scattering effect induced by surface texturization of SnO2.