Structural properties and optical modelling of SiC thin films
MetadataShow full item record
Amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) is a versatile material due to its interesting mechanical, chemical and optical properties that make it a candidate for application in solar cell technology. As a-SiC stoichiometry can be tuned over a large range, consequently is its bandgap. In this thesis, amorphous silicon carbide thin films for solar cells application have been deposited by means of the electron-beam physical vapour deposition (e-beam PVD) technique and have been isochronally annealed at varying temperatures. The structural and optical properties of the films have been investigated by Fourier transform Infrared and Raman spectroscopies, X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy and UV-VIS-NIR spectroscopy. The effect of annealing is a gradual crystallization of the amorphous network of as-deposited silicon carbide films and consequently the microstructural and optical properties are altered. We showed that the microstructural changes of the as-deposited films depend on the annealing temperature. High temperature enhances the growth of Si and SiC nanocrystals in amorphous SiC matrix. Improved stoichiometry of SiC comes with high band gap of the material up to 2.53 eV which makes the films transparent to the visible radiation and thus they can be applied as window layer in solar cells.