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Title: Characterisation of beta-FeSi2 fabricated by ion beam assisted deposition
Author: McKinty, Colin N.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 4019
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2001
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beta-FeSi2 has been shown to have a minimum direct band gap of 0.87 eV, which leads to the opportunity of Si based opto-electronics. One of the many applications that beta-FeSi2 has been linked with is solar cells. Its proposed suitability for solar cell applications originates from a large absorption coefficient above the fundamental edge (105 cm-1), predicted solar cell efficiencies as high as 23% and photoelectric properties with a quantum efficiency of 32%. Ion beam assisted deposition represent a technique that is suitable for producing low cost material over large areas, thus making it suitable for solar cell fabrication. The work reported here represents an in-depth optical characterisation of the effects of fabrication and post-fabrication processing on ion beam assisted deposited FeSi layers on Si substrates. Two different sets of substrates have been investigated; the first were deposited with layers of Fe and Si in the ratios between (40%:60%) and (29%:71%), and the second were deposited in stoichiometric ratios (1:2). A range of post-fabrication processes have been investigated, these have included studying the effects of annealing time (10 minutes to 18 hours) and temperature (100°C to 900°C) on the band gap and defects underneath the fundamental absorption edge. A study of the effect of annealing regime on the measurement temperature dependency of the band gap was also completed. The results have shown that annealing temperature has a stronger effect on the band gap rather than annealing time, while both affect the absorption underneath the fundamental edge. Optical evidence for the formation of beta-FeSi2 was found for annealing temperatures as low as 425°C. Increasing the annealing temperature/time also results in structural changes in the material, which are dependent on the as-deposited composition of the FeSi layer. beta-FeSi2/Si(n-type) solar cell devices have been fabricating, showing rectifying I-V characteristics, and a photo-voltage spectral response that indicated two distinct regions; 0.72 eV to 1.1 eV and 1.1 eV and above.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Solar cells; Silicon; Iron; Silicate