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Deep surface Cu depletion induced by K in high-efficiency Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cell absorbers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2101-3746
Stockholms Univ, Nat Skapliga Fak, Inst Mat & Miljokemi, Stockholm.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0999-3569
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3461-6036
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
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2018 (English)In: Progress in Photovoltaics, ISSN 1062-7995, E-ISSN 1099-159X, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 730-739Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this work, we used K‐rich glass substrates to provide potassium during the coevaporation of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) absorber layers. Subsequently, we applied a postdeposition treatment (PDT) using KF or RbF to some of the grown absorbers. It was found that the presence of K during the growth of the CIGS layer led to cell effi- ciencies beyond 17%, and the addition of a PDT pushed it beyond 18%. The major finding of this work is the observation of discontinuous 100‐ to 200‐nm‐deep Cu‐ depleted patches in the vicinity of the CdS buffer layer, correlated with the presence of K during the growth of the absorber layer. The PDT had no influence on the forma- tion of these patches. A second finding concerns the composition of the Cu‐depleted areas, where an anticorrelation between Cu and both In and K was measured using scanning transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, a steeper Ga/(In+Ga) ratio gradient was measured for the absorbers grown with the presence of K, suggesting that K hinders the group III element interdiffusion. Finally, no Cd in‐diffusion to the CIGS layer could be detected. This indicates that if CdCu substitution occurs, either their concentration is below our instrumental detection limit or its presence is contained within the first 6 nm from the CdS/CIGS interface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 26, no 9, p. 730-739
Keywords [en]
CIGS, Cu depletion, EELS, OVC, Raman, solar cell, TEM
National Category
Other Materials Engineering Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357120DOI: 10.1002/pip.3010ISI: 000442501000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357120DiVA, id: diva2:1238095
Part of project
ARCIGS-M
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Energy AgencyEU, Horizon 2020, 720887Available from: 2018-08-12 Created: 2018-08-12 Last updated: 2018-11-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Multiple Faces of Interfaces: Electron microscopy analysis of CuInSe2 thin-film solar cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Multiple Faces of Interfaces: Electron microscopy analysis of CuInSe2 thin-film solar cells
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The CIS solar cell family features both a high stability and world-class performances. They can be deposited on a wide variety of substrates and absorb the entire solar spectrum only using a thickness of a few micrometers. These particularities allow them to feature the most positive Energy returned on energy invested (EROI) values and the shortest Energy payback times (EPBT) of all the main photovoltaic solar cells. Using mainly electron microscopy characterization techniques, this thesis has explored the questions related to the interface control in thin-film photovoltaic solar cells based on CuInSe2 (CIS) absorber materials. Indeed, a better understanding of the interfaces is essential to further improve the solar cell conversion efficiency (currently around 23%), but also to introduce alternative substrates, to implement various alloying (Ga-CIS (CIGS), Ag-CIGS (ACIGS)…) or even to assess alternative buffer layers.

The thread of this work is the understanding and the improvement of the interface control. To do so, the passivation potential of Al2O3 interlayers has been studied in one part of the thesis. While positive changes were generally measured, a subsequent analysis has revealed that a detrimental interaction could occur between the NaF precursor layer and the rear Al2O3 passivation layer. Still within the passivation research field, incorporation of various alkali-metals to the CIS absorber layer has been developed and analyzed. Large beneficial effects were ordinarily reported. However, similar KF-post deposition treatments were shown to be potentially detrimental for the silver-alloyed CIGS absorber layer. Finally, part of this work dealt with the limitations of the thin-barrier layers usually employed when using steel substrates instead of soda-lime glass ones. The defects and their origin could have been related to the steel manufacturing process, which offered solutions to erase them.

Electron microscopy, especially Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), was essential to scrutinize the local changes occurring at the different interfaces within a few nanometers. The composition variation was measured with both Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) techniques. Finally, efforts have been invested in controlling and improving the FIB sample preparation, which was required for the TEM observations in our case.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 85
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1701
Keywords
Electron microscopy, TEM, STEM, EELS, EDS, solar cells, CIGS, ACIGS, CZTS, post deposition treatment, KF, RbF, buffer layers, interfaces, inter layers, barrier layers, passivation layers
National Category
Energy Systems Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Other Materials Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science; Engineering Science with specialization in Electronics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357127 (URN)978-91-513-0402-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-28, Polhemssalen, The Angstrom laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-08-12 Last updated: 2018-10-02

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Donzel-Gargand, OlivierThersleff, ThomasKeller, JanTörndahl, TobiasLarsson, FredrikStolt, LarsEdoff, Marika

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