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Amor S.B.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | Amor S.B.,University of Applied Medical science of Hafr El Baten | Meddeb H.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | Daik R.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Applied Surface Science | Year: 2016

In this paper, hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) thin films were deposited on mono-crystalline silicon substrate by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) under different hydrogen flow rates followed by a thermal treatment in an infrared furnace at different temperature ranging from 300 to 900 °C. The investigated structural, morphological and optoelectronic properties of samples were found to be strongly dependent on the annealing temperature. Raman spectroscopy revealed that nc-Si:H films contain crystalline, amorphous and mixed structures as well. We find that post-deposition thermal treatment may lead to a tendency for structural improvement and a decrease of the disorder in the film network at moderate temperature under 500 °C. As for annealing at higher temperature up to 900 °C induces the recrystallization of the film which is correlated with the grain size and volume fraction in the layer. We demonstrate that high annealing temperature can lead to a decrease of silicon-hydrogen bonds corresponding to a reduction of the amorphous matrix in the layer promoting the formation of covalent Si-Si bonds. The effusion of the hydrogen from the grown film leads to increase its density and therefore induces a decrease in the thickness of the layer. For post-deposition thermal treatment in temperature range under 700 °C, the post-deposition anneal seems to be crucial for obtaining good passivation quality as expressed by a minority carrier lifetime of 17 μs, as it allows a significant reduction in defect states at the layer/substrate interface. While for a temperature higher than 900 °C, the lifetime reduction is obtained because of hydrogen effusion phenomenon, thus a tendency for crystallization in the grown film. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hajjaji A.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | Hajjaji A.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Gaidi M.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | Bessais B.,Photovoltaic Laboratory Research and Technology | Khakani M.A.E.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique
Applied Surface Science | Year: 2011

In this work, we report on the effect of Cr incorporation on the microstructural and optical properties of TiO2:Cr thin films deposited by the RF-magnetron sputtering method. The structural, morphological, chemical bonding and optoelectronic properties of the sputter-deposited TiO 2:Cr films were systematically investigated, as a function the incorporated Cr content, by means of various techniques including X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier-Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) absorption, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and ellipsometry. The Cr incorporation into the TiO2 films was controlled by adjusting the RF power (PCr) on the Cr target during the co-sputtering process of TiO2 and Cr. We were thus able to demonstrate that by varying P Cr from 8 W to 150 W, the Cr content of the TiO2:Cr films can be fairly controlled from ∼2 at.% to ∼18 at.% and their associated bandgap engineered from 3.3 eV to 1.5 eV. The room-temperature deposited TiO2:Cr are mainly amorphous with the presence of some TiO 2 nanocrystallites, and their density increases as their Cr content is increased. The Cr inclusions were found to coexist under both metallic and oxidized forms in the films. By subjecting the TiO2:Cr films to post-annealing treatment (at 550 °C), their crystalline structure was found to be sensitive to their Cr content. Indeed, an anatase-to-rutile phase transformation has been pointed out to occur at a Cr content of ∼7 at.%. Likewise, the Cr-content dependence of the bandgap of annealed TiO 2:Cr films undergoes a transition around the 7 at.% of Cr. Our results demonstrate the ability to control the Cr-content of TiO2:Cr films, which leads to tune their optoelectronic properties, such as bandgap or optical absorption edge. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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