An amorphous Si (a-Si) solar cell with a back reflector composed of zinc oxide (ZnO) and silver (Ag) is potentially the most plausible and flexible solar cell if a graphite sheet is used as the substrate. Graphite supplies lightness, conductivity and flexibility to devices. When a graphite sheet is used as the substrate, carbon can diffuse into the Ag layer in the subsequent p-i-n process at 200-400 °C. To prevent this, we added an oxide layer as a carbon diffusion barrier between the carbon substrate and the back reflector. For the carbon diffusion barrier, silicon oxide (SiO2) or tin oxide (SnOx) was used. We evaluated the thermal stability of the back reflector of a carbon substrate using secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to analyze the carbon diffusion barrier material. We confirmed the deposition characteristics, reflectance and prevention of carbon diffusion with and without the barrier. Finally, the structures were incorporated into the solar cell and their performances compared. The results showed that the back reflectors that were connected to a carbon diffusion barrier presented better performance, and the reflector with an SnOx layer presented the best performance.
Keywords: a-Si solar cell; carbon diffusion barrier; carbon substrate; flexible device; graphite sheet.