Optimization of surface morphology and scattering properties of TCO/AIT textured glass front electrode for thin film solar cells

M.L. Addonizio, L. Fusco, A. Antonaia, F. Cominale, I. Usatii

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Aluminium induced texture (AIT) method has been used for obtaining highly textured glass substrate suitable for silicon based thin film solar cell technology. Wet etch step parameters of AIT process have been varied and effect of different etchants and different etching times on morphological and optical properties has been analyzed. The resulting morphology features (shape, size distribution, inclination angle) have been optimized in order to obtain the best scattering properties. ZnO:Ga (GZO) films have been deposited by sputtering technique on AIT-processed glass. Two different ZnO surface morphologies have been obtained, strongly depending on the underlying glass substrate morphology induced by different etching times. Very rough and porous texture (σrms∼ 150 nm) was obtained on glass etched 2 min showing cauliflower-like structure, whereas a softer texture (σrms∼ 78 nm) was obtained on glass etched 7 min giving wider and smoother U-shaped craters. The effect of different glass textures on optical confinement has been tested in amorphous silicon based p-i-n devices. Devices fabricated on GZO/high textured glass showed a quantum efficiency enhancement due to both an effective light trapping phenomenon and an effective anti-reflective optical behaviour. Short etching time produce smaller cavities (<1 μm) with deep U-shape characterized by high roughness, high inclination angle and low autocorrelation length. This surface morphology promoted a large light scattering phenomenon, as evidenced by haze value and by angular resolved scattering (ARS) behaviour, into a large range of diffraction angles, giving high probability of effective light trapping inside a PV device.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651 - 658
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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