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Si thin film solar cells and thermoelectric devices

The quantitative analysis of elemental and chemical composition of buried structures in the nanometer range, e.g. layers or dopant profiles, is a challenging task. In order to combine information depths of a few hundred nanometers with resolutions in the nanometer range, X-ray fluorescence based methods are a promising non destructive analytical tool.

In the frame of SALSA we investigate two kinds of samples:

On the one hand, poly-silicon thin-film solar cells, fabricated by the research group of C. Becker at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, are investigated. These consist of silicon oxide and -carbide barrier layers of ten to 100 nm between a glass substrate and a several μm thick poly-Si absorber layer. In particular, a comparative investigation between samples with a flat interface and a textured interface (for light trapping enhancement) is in progress, since the textured samples show an unexpected reduction of electronic properties.

On the other hand, the research group of K. Rademann, SALSA PI and professor of analytical chemistry at the Humboldt University of Berlin, deals with the development of novel nanotechnology based thermoelectric devices. In this context, thin films (tens to a few hundred nanometers) of silver and copper on top of a glass substrate seem to be a promising candidate for electrical bonding of buried nanomaterials. In order to get a better understanding of the chemistry at the layer interfaces, the measurement of elemental and chemical depth profiles is of importance.

By using synchrotron radiation at the PGM beamline of the PTB at BESSY II first (GI)XRF, XRR and NEXAFS measurements of the poly-silicon thin-film solar cell samples and the silver-copper thin-film samples were performed. Ongoing work is conducted dealing with the analysis and in-house developed quantification software as well as with an envisioned setup for measurements with the laser produced plasma source in the laboratory.

Point of contact: Jonas Baumann, Christian Herzog

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