A method of fabricating device quality, thin-film a-Si:H for use as semiconductor material in photovoltaic and other devices, comprising in any order; positioning a substrate in a vacuum chamber adjacent a plurality of heatable filaments with a spacing distance L between the substrate and the filaments; heating the filaments to a temperature that is high enough to obtain complete decomposition of silicohydride molecules that impinge said filaments into Si and H atomic species; providing a flow of silicohydride gas, or a mixture of silicohydride gas containing Si and H, in said vacuum chamber while maintaining a pressure P of said gas in said chamber, which, in combination with said spacing distance L, provides a P.times.L product in a range of 10-300 mT-cm to ensure that most of the Si atomic species react with silicohydride molecules in the gas before reaching the substrate, to thereby grow a a-Si:H film at a rate of at least 50 .ANG./sec.; and maintaining the substrate at a temperature that balances out-diffusion of H from the growing a-Si:H film with time needed for radical species containing Si and H to migrate to preferred bonding sites.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-99GO10337 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a Division of Midwest Research Institute.