Cluster beam deposition for PV applications
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Silicon quantum dots are the subject of much research in the photovoltaic sector because of the ability to tune their bandgap. This makes them interesting for applications in a series of solar cell designs. There are many different ways to produce quantum dots, each having its own strengths and weaknesses. In this research, cluster beam deposition is proposed and explored as a way of depositing quantum dots. The installation process of an Oxford Applied Research NC200U nanoclusters source for the deposition of silicon, silver and germanium clusters is described in detail. An extensive characterization of DC deposition of Si clusters has been performed, identifying the influence of aggregation length of the cluster source, argon flow rate and DC magnetron power on the size and density of cluster that are deposited on 1x1 cm silicon wafer substrates. It has been attempted to produce a silicon quantum dot schottky solar cell, but low deposition yields of the cluster source have so far hampered the progress. A number of possible solutions and suggestions for further research are done.