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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(4), 2200-2215; doi:10.3390/ijms12042200

Characterization of Doped Amorphous Silicon Thin Films through the Investigation of Dopant Elements by Glow Discharge Spectrometry: A Correlation of Conductivity and Bandgap Energy Measurements

1
Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oviedo, Julian Clavería, 8 33006 Oviedo, Spain
2
Energy Group (EN) - ITMA Foundation, Calafates 11 (L.3.4) 33417 Avilés, Spain
3
Department of Nanostructured Materials, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center (CINN), Government of Asturias, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), University of Oviedo (UO). Technology Park of Asturias, 33428 Llanera, Asturias, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 February 2011 / Revised: 15 March 2011 / Accepted: 28 March 2011 / Published: 30 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Cells)
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Abstract

The determination of optical parameters, such as absorption and extinction coefficients, refractive index and the bandgap energy, is crucial to understand the behavior and final efficiency of thin film solar cells based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). The influence of small variations of the gas flow rates used for the preparation of the p-a-SiC:H layer on the bandgap energy, as well as on the dopant elements concentration, thickness and conductivity of the p-layer, is investigated in this work using several complementary techniques. UV-NIR spectrophotometry and ellipsometry were used for the determination of bandgap energies of four p-a-SiC:H thin films, prepared by using different B2H6 and SiH4 fluxes (B2H6 from 12 sccm to 20 sccm and SiH4 from 6 sccm to 10 sccm). Moreover, radiofrequency glow discharge optical emission spectrometry technique was used for depth profiling characterization of p-a-SiC:H thin films and valuable information about dopant elements concentration and distribution throughout the coating was found. Finally, a direct relationship between the conductivity of p-a-SiC:H thin films and the dopant elements concentration, particularly boron and carbon, was observed for the four selected samples.
Keywords: thin film solar cells; hydrogenated amorphous silicon; bandgap energy; ellipsometry; depth profiling analysis; glow discharge optical emission spectrometry thin film solar cells; hydrogenated amorphous silicon; bandgap energy; ellipsometry; depth profiling analysis; glow discharge optical emission spectrometry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sánchez, P.; Lorenzo, O.; Menéndez, A.; Menéndez, J.L.; Gomez, D.; Pereiro, R.; Fernández, B. Characterization of Doped Amorphous Silicon Thin Films through the Investigation of Dopant Elements by Glow Discharge Spectrometry: A Correlation of Conductivity and Bandgap Energy Measurements. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 2200-2215.

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