TiN and TiO 2: Nb thin film preparation using hollow cathode sputtering with application to solar cells

S. Y. Guo, W. N. Shafarman, A. E. Delahoy

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19 Scopus citations


Titanium nitride (TiN) is well known for its excellent conductivity, inertness, and good optical reflectivity at long wavelengths. These properties make it a potential IR-reflective back contact material suitable for ultrathin Cu (In,Ga) Se2 (CIGS) solar cells. Using a pulsed power, 12 cm linear hollow cathode source fitted with Ti targets and with N2 as the reactive gas, TiN films were deposited on Mo-coated glass. The static deposition rate was 50 nmmin for a sputtering power of only 500 W. The high deposition rate indicates the advantage of the reactive environment, hollow cathode sputtering method, i.e., the reactive gas is excluded from the target. Electrical, optical, and physical properties of the films were measured. Resistivities in the range of 50-60 μΩ cm were achieved. Reflectance and x-ray diffraction measurements were conducted, and the effects of deposition parameters such as substrate bias and substrate temperature were studied. The optical emission from N and Ti atoms in the plasma was also studied. CIGS solar cells were successfully fabricated on TiN and a conversion efficiency of 12.3% was achieved. Transparent and moderately conductive Ti O2 films doped with Nb were also prepared. The electrical and optical properties of these films are reported, and the reflectance of a-Si solar cells was reduced via incorporation of a Ti O2: Nb layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number039604JVA
Pages (from-to)1524-1529
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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