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Title: Controlled Spalling-Based Mechanical Substrate Exfoliation for III-V Solar Cells: A Review

Abstract

Controlled spalling is a fast process that can mechanically exfoliate III-V semiconductor layers from their host wafer substrates and has the potential to produce high power-density, flexible, III-V solar cells at large scale. The controlled spalling system is typically composed of three parts: a brittle substrate with or without epitaxial growth layers, a tough stressor layer deposited on top, and a handle layer. Controlled spalling is achieved by tuning the stress and thickness of the stressor layer and the peeling force applied by the handle layer to overcome the cohesive energy of the substrate, resulting in propagation of a crack parallel to the surface of the substrate. Proof-of-principle device demonstrations, at wafer scale and in multiple configurations, show no loss of performance compared to conventionally processed devices while preserving the wafer for reuse, reclaim, or recycling for cost and material savings. This review summarizes advances in controlled spalling as it relates specifically to III-V solar cells, covering advances in spalling-related methods development, process modeling and control, fracture surface morphology, and device processing and performance. Opportunities for controlled spalling of III-V materials and remaining challenges for achieving reliable process integration are also discussed.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Air Force Research Laboratory
OSTI Identifier:
1774848
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-78391
MainId:32308;UUID:a8a8744f-ee86-4ea0-9b69-2fca612c1ff2;MainAdminID:21158
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 225
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
SOLAR ENERGY; controlled spalling; III-V; thin film; solar cell; flexible; layer transfer

Citation Formats

Chen, Jie, and Packard, Corinne E. Controlled Spalling-Based Mechanical Substrate Exfoliation for III-V Solar Cells: A Review. United States: N. p., 2021. Web. doi:10.1016/j.solmat.2021.111018.
Chen, Jie, & Packard, Corinne E. Controlled Spalling-Based Mechanical Substrate Exfoliation for III-V Solar Cells: A Review. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2021.111018
Chen, Jie, and Packard, Corinne E. 2021. "Controlled Spalling-Based Mechanical Substrate Exfoliation for III-V Solar Cells: A Review". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2021.111018.
@article{osti_1774848,
title = {Controlled Spalling-Based Mechanical Substrate Exfoliation for III-V Solar Cells: A Review},
author = {Chen, Jie and Packard, Corinne E.},
abstractNote = {Controlled spalling is a fast process that can mechanically exfoliate III-V semiconductor layers from their host wafer substrates and has the potential to produce high power-density, flexible, III-V solar cells at large scale. The controlled spalling system is typically composed of three parts: a brittle substrate with or without epitaxial growth layers, a tough stressor layer deposited on top, and a handle layer. Controlled spalling is achieved by tuning the stress and thickness of the stressor layer and the peeling force applied by the handle layer to overcome the cohesive energy of the substrate, resulting in propagation of a crack parallel to the surface of the substrate. Proof-of-principle device demonstrations, at wafer scale and in multiple configurations, show no loss of performance compared to conventionally processed devices while preserving the wafer for reuse, reclaim, or recycling for cost and material savings. This review summarizes advances in controlled spalling as it relates specifically to III-V solar cells, covering advances in spalling-related methods development, process modeling and control, fracture surface morphology, and device processing and performance. Opportunities for controlled spalling of III-V materials and remaining challenges for achieving reliable process integration are also discussed.},
doi = {10.1016/j.solmat.2021.111018},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1774848}, journal = {Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells},
number = ,
volume = 225,
place = {United States},
year = {2021},
month = {3}
}

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