Changes in interface properties of TCO/a-Si: H layer by Zn buffer layer in silicon heterojunction solar cells

Sung Ju Tark, Chang Sik Son, Donghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, we inserted a Zn buffer layer into a AZO/p-type a-si:H layer interface in order to lower the contact resistance of the interface. For the Zn layer, the deposition was conducted at 5 nm, 7 nm and 10 nm using the rf-magnetron sputtering method. The results were compared to that of the AZO film to discuss the possibility of the Zn layer being used as a transparent conductive oxide thin film for application in the silicon heterojunction solar cell. We used the rf-magnetron sputtering method to fabricate Al 2 wt.% of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) film as a transparent conductive oxide (TCO). We analyzed the electro-optical properties of the ZnO as well as the interface properties of the AZO/p-type a-Si:H layer. After inserting a buffer layer into the AZO/p-type a-Si:H layers to enhance the interface properties, we measured the contact resistance of the layers using a CTLM (circular transmission line model) pattern, the depth profile of the layers using AES (auger electron spectroscopy), and the changes in the properties of the AZO thin film through heat treatment. We investigated the effects of the interface properties of the AZO/p-type a-Si:H layer on the characteristics of silicon heterojunction solar cells and the way to improve the interface properties. When depositing AZO thin film on a-Si layer, oxygen atoms are diffused from the AZO thin film towards the a-Si layer. Thus, the characteristics of the solar cells deteriorate due to the created oxide film. While a diffusion of Zn occurs toward the a-Si in the case of AZO used as TCO, the diffusion of In occurs toward a-Si in the case of ITO used as TCO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Materials Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 18



  • AZO
  • Interface
  • Rf magnetron sputter
  • Silicon heterojunction solar cells
  • TCO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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