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Issue 44, 2018
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In situ removal of a native oxide layer from an amorphous silicon surface with a UV laser for subsequent layer growth

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Abstract

We have developed an in situ method for removing a native silicon oxide layer from an amorphous silicon (a-Si) surface using a UV laser. The a-Si film containing crystalline silicon seeds is used for the subsequent growth of crystalline Si layers by steady-state liquid phase epitaxy (SSLPE). The main goal of this technique is to grow crystalline silicon layers on low-cost glass substrates which can be used as absorber layers for thin film solar cells. We have investigated the interaction between a-Si and laser pulses as well as the growth results by scanning force microscopy (SFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy and attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The heating of the a-Si surface by a laser pulse is modelled by numerical simulations using a finite element approach in COMSOL-Multiphysics. The simulations verify that the laser pulse heats a-Si to temperatures sufficient for the thermal desorption of the native oxide layer but lower than both the crystallization temperature of a-Si and the glass transition temperature.

Graphical abstract: In situ removal of a native oxide layer from an amorphous silicon surface with a UV laser for subsequent layer growth

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Article information


Submitted
16 Jul 2018
Accepted
02 Oct 2018
First published
02 Oct 2018

CrystEngComm, 2018,20, 7170-7177
Article type
Paper

In situ removal of a native oxide layer from an amorphous silicon surface with a UV laser for subsequent layer growth

C. Ehlers, S. Kayser, D. Uebel, R. Bansen, T. Markurt, T. Teubner, K. Hinrichs, O. Ernst and T. Boeck, CrystEngComm, 2018, 20, 7170
DOI: 10.1039/C8CE01170B

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