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Transmission Electron Microscopy of the Textured Silver Back Reflector of a Thin Film Silicon Solar Cell: From Crystallography to Optical Absorption
M. Duchamp, K. Söderström, Q. Jeangros, C.B. Boothroyd, T. Kasama, F.-J. Haug, C. Ballif, R.E. Dunin-Borkowski
Thin Film Solar Cells
Subtopic: Amorphous and Microcrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
Event: 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 3AV.1.38
2554 - 2557
ISBN: 3-936338-27-2
Paper DOI: 10.4229/26thEUPVSEC2011-3AV.1.38
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


The study of light trapping in amorphous, microcrystalline and micromorph thin-film Si solar cells is an important and active field of investigation. It has been demonstrated that the use of a rough Ag back-reflector lead to an increase of short circuit current but also to losses through the creation of surface plasmon polaritons. Here, we use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to study the grain structure of a Ag thin-film that was sputtered on top of 2-μm-thick rough ZnO layer - defects, such as twin-boundaries have been observed. A smoothing of the top Ag surface was also observed after ex-situ annealing. Electron energy-loss spectroscopy with a monochromatic beam was used to measure the surface plasmon resonance with nm spatial resolution. 1 eV and 3 eV Ag surface plasmon resonances have been observed on as-grown layers. Such measurements provide valuable information about the origin of optical absorption losses previously measured in Ag back-reflector of thin-film Si solar cells.