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Deposition of device quality, low hydrogen content, hydrogenated amorphous silicon at high deposition rates

United States Patent

October 22, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
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.
Mahan; Archie Harvin (Golden, CO), Molenbroek; Edith C. (Rotterdam, NL), Gallagher; Alan C. (Louisville, CO), Nelson; Brent P. (Golden, CO), Iwaniczko; Eugene (Lafayette, CO), Xu; Yueqin (Golden, CO)
Midwest Research Institute (Kansas City, MO)
09/ 669,248
September 25, 2000
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.