Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Research Article
Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 896926, 2 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/896926
Letter to the Editor

Comment on “Analysis of the High Conversion Efficiencies β-FeSi2 and BaSi2 n-i-p Thin Film Solar Cells”

Department of Electrical Engineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 406772, Republic of Korea

Received 30 August 2015; Accepted 3 September 2015

Academic Editor: Christian Brosseau

Copyright © 2015 Hyunki Kim and Joondong Kim. 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.


A recent report, titled “Analysis of the High Conversion Efficiencies -FeSi2 and BaSi2 n-i-p Thin Film Solar Cells,” brings a significant anticipation to silicon-based solar cells, due to the unexpected high conversion efficiency of 30.4% [1]. This extremely high expectation may expedite the Si solar cells for broad applications according to the excellent solar power generation with a light-weight thin film structures.

The silicides are compounds of silicon and metals, which have a high compatibility to the current Si technology [2, 3]. Ni silicide nanowires were applied for nanoscale contacts, field emitters, and functional microscopy tips. Due to the tiny size with an excellent electrical conductivity, metal silicide materials would open a new era for Si electronics. Ni silicide may induce the nanowire formation by modulating the Si supply, Ni thickness controls, or heating temperature. Among the various features, metal silicide nanowires can be grown mainly by the property of metal diffusion into the Si material. Fast Ni diffusion brings the Ni silicide nanowires but slow Co diffusion forms the uniform Co silicide film. Pd diffusion is mediocre to grow thick microscale pillar formation [4].

For metal silicide-mediated Si solar cells, Ni and Co are excellent materials to Si due to a little discrepancy. However, fast Ni diffusion readily causes Ni atomic impingement into the Si material, resulting in the broken junction formation [5], similar problem occurred as stacking fault by manganese silicides [6], various formations of iron silicides [7], and barium silicides [8].

Solar cells, including all photoelectric devices, ensure the rectifying junction formation where a high electric field exists to separate the photogenerated carriers. Otherwise, an ohmic contact just renders high current flows without forming a space charge region (or depletion region), resulting in no photovoltaic effects.

According to the structure of -FeSi2 and BaSi2 n-i-p thin film solar cells, two depletion regions are formed in the junction between n-Si and BaSi2 (or FeSi2) and between BaSi2 (or FeSi2) and p-Si. The energy bandgap of BaSi2 or FeSi2 is extremely desirable to Si materials [9]; however, the metal diffusion may cause a serious concern for rectifying junction formation. From the calculation, a clear formation of depletion layer was assumed; however, practical approaches highly require the clearance of metal diffusion in the Si layers. The expected higher fill factor values (above 82%) can be realized on the efficient control of metal diffusion into Si layer. If the authors will provide the simulation for metal diffusion effect to establish silicide layer-embedding Si solar cell, a significant manipulation can be performed to realize the high-efficient metal silicide-assisted Si solar cells.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests of commercial or financial relationships.

Acknowledgment

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning, through a grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (KETEP-20133030011000).

References

  1. J.-S. Huang, K.-W. Lee, and Y.-H. Tseng, “Analysis of the high conversion efficiencies β-FeSi2 and BaSi2 n-i-p thin film solar cells,” Journal of Nanomaterials, vol. 2014, Article ID 238291, 5 pages, 2014. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  2. J. Kim and W. A. Anderson, “Spontaneous nickel monosilicide nanowire formation by metal induced growth,” Thin Solid Films, vol. 483, no. 1-2, pp. 60–65, 2005. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  3. J. Kim and W. A. Anderson, “Direct electrical measurement of the self-assembled nickel silicide nanowire,” Nano Letters, vol. 6, no. 7, pp. 1356–1359, 2006. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  4. J. Kim, J.-U. Bae, W. A. Anderson, H.-M. Kim, and K.-B. Kim, “Solid-state growth of nickel silicide nanowire by the metal-induced growth method,” Journal of Materials Research, vol. 21, no. 11, pp. 2936–2940, 2006. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  5. J. Kim, C.-S. Han, Y. C. Park, and W. A. Anderson, “Three-dimensional crystalline Si film growth by the Ni silicide mediation,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 92, no. 4, Article ID 043501, 2008. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  6. Y. Sadia, M. Elegrably, O. Ben-Nun, Y. Marciano, and Y. Gelbstein, “Submicron features in higher manganese silicide,” Journal of Nanomaterials, vol. 2013, Article ID 701268, 5 pages, 2013. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  7. N. Dahal and V. Chikan, “Phase-controlled synthesis of iron silicide (Fe3Si and FeSi2) nanoparticles in solution,” Chemistry of Materials, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 2892–2897, 2010. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  8. S. Kishino, T. Imai, T. Iida et al., “Electronic and optical properties of bulk crystals of semiconducting orthorhombic BaSi2 prepared by the vertical Bridgman method,” Journal of Alloys and Compounds, vol. 428, no. 1-2, pp. 22–27, 2007. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  9. K. Morita, Y. Inomata, and T. Suemasu, “Optical and electrical properties of semiconducting BaSi2 thin films on Si substrates grown by molecular beam epitaxy,” Thin Solid Films, vol. 508, no. 1-2, pp. 363–366, 2006. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus