A high quality, highly adherent layer of a metal and oxygen material such as a transparent electrically conductive oxide material is electro deposited onto a substrate in a solution deposition process. The substrate is activated prior to the electro deposition of the metal and oxygen material thereonto by contacting it with a multidentate activating agent which promotes the adhesion of the metal and oxygen material to the substrate. Use of the activation agent eliminates the need to pre-deposit a "seed" layer of the metal and oxygen material onto the substrate by a vacuum deposition process. Process parameters are controlled so as to result in the deposition of a high quality layer of material which is suitable for use in a back reflector structure of a high efficiency photovoltaic device In particular instances the activation method may be implemented in a continuous, roll-to-roll process. Further disclosed are semiconductor devices and components of semiconductor devices made by the present process, as well as apparatus for carrying out the process.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 This invention was made, at least in part, under U.S. Government, Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-FC36-07G017053. The Government may have rights in this invention.