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ECN publication
Improvement of low cost ceramic substrates for use in thin film silicon solar cells
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 1998
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--98-045 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Paper, presented at the 2nd World conference and exhibition on photovoltaic solar energy conversion, Vienna, Austria, 06-10 July (), , , Vol., p.-.

The tape casting method and the atmospheric plasma spraying method APShave been used for the production of low cost oxide and silicon based ceramic substrates for use in Si-film devices. Investigations have shown that the thermal expansion coefficient of substrate materials is one main parameter to minimise mismatch problems and Si-film devices failure. Analysis of substrate surfaces have shown that impurities from ceramic powders are mobile and concentrated at the substrate surface after sintering, which could lead to contamination of the active Si-film during high temperature processes. The plasma sprayed silicon layers can be improved by a recrystallization process, i.e. larger grain sizes and lower porosity can be achieved. For all selected ceramics a Si-film could be deposited by either liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) or chemical vapour deposition (CVD). The best results, i.e. compact and coherent Si-film layers, have been achieved on plasma sprayed layers by both deposition techniques. For the oxide substrates for which thermal mismatch problems have been identified, plastic deformation of the entire sample has been observed. 7 refs.

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