Nanocrystalline Silicon Based Films for Renewable Energy Applications

by Martina and#60;1987and#62 Perani

Institution: Università di Bologna
Year: 2015
Keywords: FIS/03 Fisica della materia
Record ID: 1225003
Full text PDF: http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/6770/1/Perani_Martina_tesi.pdf


The present thesis is focused on the study of innovative Si-based materials for third generation photovoltaics. In particular, silicon oxi-nitride (SiOxNy) thin films and multilayer of Silicon Rich Carbide (SRC)/Si have been characterized in view of their application in photovoltaics. SiOxNy is a promising material for applications in thin-film solar cells as well as for wafer based silicon solar cells, like silicon heterojunction solar cells. However, many issues relevant to the material properties have not been studied yet, such as the role of the deposition condition and precursor gas concentrations on the optical and electronic properties of the films, the composition and structure of the nanocrystals. The results presented in the thesis aim to clarify the effects of annealing and oxygen incorporation within nc-SiOxNy films on its properties in view of the photovoltaic applications. Silicon nano-crystals (Si NCs) embedded in a dielectric matrix were proposed as absorbers in all-Si multi-junction solar cells due to the quantum confinement capability of Si NCs, that allows a better match to the solar spectrum thanks to the size induced tunability of the band gap. Despite the efficient solar radiation absorption capability of this structure, its charge collection and transport properties has still to be fully demonstrated. The results presented in the thesis aim to the understanding of the transport mechanisms at macroscopic and microscopic scale. Experimental results on SiOxNy thin films and SRC/Si multilayers have been obtained at macroscopical and microscopical level using different characterizations techniques, such as Atomic Force Microscopy, Reflection and Transmission measurements, High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy, Energy-Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. The deep knowledge and improved understanding of the basic physical properties of these quite complex, multi-phase and multi-component systems, made by nanocrystals and amorphous phases, will contribute to improve the efficiency of Si based solar cells.