Electrical, morphological and structural properties of RF magnetron sputtered Mo thin films for application in thin film photovoltaic solar cells

Guillaume Zoppi, Neil Beattie, Jonathan Major, Robert Miles, Ian Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Molybdenum (Mo) thin films were deposited using radio frequency magnetron sputtering, for application as a metal back contact material in ‘‘substrate configuration’’ thin film solar cells. The variations of the electrical, morphological, and structural properties of the deposited films with sputtering pressure, sputtering power and post-deposition annealing were determined. The electrical conductivity of the Mo films was found to increase with decreasing sputtering pressure and increasing sputtering power. X-ray diffraction data showed that all the films had a (110) preferred orientation that became less pronounced at higher sputtering power while being relatively insensitive to process pressure. The lattice stress within the films changed from tensile to compressive with increasing sputtering power and the tensile stress increased with increasing sputtering pressure. The surface morphology of the films changed from pyramids to cigar-shaped grains for a sputtering power between 100 and 200 W, remaining largely unchanged at higher power. These grains were also observed to decrease in size with increasing sputtering pressure. Annealing the films was found to affect the resistivity and stress of the films. The resistivity increased due to the presence of residual oxygen and the stress changed from tensile to compressive. The annealing step was not found to affect the crystallisation and grain growth of the Mo films.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4913-4921
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Volume46
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

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