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Growth kinetics, properties, performance and stability of ALD Zn-Sn-O buffer layers for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics. (Solar Cells)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics. (Solar Cells)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics. (Solar Cells)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics. (Solar Cells)
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A new ALD process is developed for deposition of Zn-Sn-O buffer layers for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells with tetrakis(dimethylamino) tin, Sn(N(CH3)2)4, diethyl zinc, Zn(C5H5)2 and water, H2O. The new process gives excellent control of thickness and [Sn]/([Sn]+[Zn]) ratio of the films. The Zn-Sn-O films are amorphous as found by grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, have a high resistivity, show a low density compared to ZnO and SnOx and have a transmittance loss that is smeared out over a wide wavelength interval. Good solar cell performance is achieved for [Sn]/([Sn]+[Zn]) ratios determined to be 0.15 – 0.21 by Rutherford backscattering. The champion solar cell with a Zn-Sn-O buffer layer has an efficiency of 15.3 % (Voc = 653 mV, Jsc(QE) = 31.8 mA/cm2 and FF = 73.8 %)  compared to 15.1 % (Voc = 663 mV, Jsc(QE) = 30.1 mA/cm2 and FF = 75.8 %) of the best reference solar cell with a CdS buffer layer. There is a strong lightsoaking effect that saturates after a few minutes for solar cells with Zn-Sn-O buffer layers after storage in the dark. Stability was tested by 1000 h of dry heat storage in darkness at 85 °C, where Zn-Sn-O buffer layers with a thickness of 76 nm, did retain their initial value after a few minutes of light soaking.

Keyword [en]
Zn-Sn-O; Cu(In, Ga)Se2; buffer layer; atomic layer deposition
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-133100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-133100DiVA: diva2:360125
Available from: 2010-11-02 Created: 2010-11-02 Last updated: 2011-11-10
In thesis
1. Cadmium Free Buffer Layers and the Influence of their Material Properties on the Performance of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cadmium Free Buffer Layers and the Influence of their Material Properties on the Performance of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

CdS is conventionally used as a buffer layer in Cu(In,Ga)Se2, CIGS, solar cells. The aim of this thesis is to substitute CdS with cadmium-free, more transparent and environmentally benign alternative buffer layers and to analyze how the material properties of alternative layers affect the solar cell performance. The alternative buffer layers have been deposited using Atomic Layer Deposition, ALD. A theoretical explanation for the success of CdS is that its conduction band, Ec, forms a small positive offset with that of CIGS.

In one of the studies in this thesis the theory is tested experimentally by changing both the Ec position of the CIGS and of Zn(O,S) buffer layers through changing their gallium and sulfur contents respectively. Surprisingly, the top performing solar cells for all gallium contents have Zn(O,S) buffer layers with the same sulfur content and properties in spite of predicted unfavorable Ec offsets. An explanation is proposed based on observed non-homogenous composition in the buffer layer.

This thesis also shows that the solar cell performance is strongly related to the resistivity of alternative buffer layers made of (Zn,Mg)O. A tentative explanation is that a high resistivity reduces the influence of shunt paths at the buffer layer/absorber interface. For devices in operation however, it seems beneficial to induce persistent photoconductivity, by light soaking, which can reduce the effective Ec barrier at the interface and thereby improve the fill factor of the solar cells.

Zn-Sn-O is introduced as a new buffer layer in this thesis. The initial studies show that solar cells with Zn-Sn-O buffer layers have comparable performance to the CdS reference devices.

While an intrinsic ZnO layer is required for a high reproducibility and performance of solar cells with CdS buffer layers it is shown in this thesis that it can be thinned if Zn(O,S) or omitted if (Zn,Mg)O buffer layers are used instead. As a result, a top conversion efficiency of 18.1 % was achieved with an (Zn,Mg)O buffer layer, a record for a cadmium and sulfur free CIGS solar cell.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 75 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 787
Keyword
Cu(In, Ga)Se2, Solar cells, Thin film, Buffer layer, Window layer, ZnO, Zn(O, S), (Zn, Mg)O, Zn-Sn-O
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-133112 (URN)978-91-554-7944-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-16, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note
Felaktigt tryckt som Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 717Available from: 2010-11-25 Created: 2010-11-02 Last updated: 2011-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Hultqvist, AdamPlatzer-Björkman, CharlotteZimmermann, UweEdoff, MarikaTörndahl, Tobias

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