Alternative Buffer Layer Development in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Film Solar Cells
  • Release Date : 07 December 2021
  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Genre : Uncategorized
  • Pages : 144 pages
  • ISBN 13 : 1369681135
Ratings: 4
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Download or read book entitled Alternative Buffer Layer Development in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Film Solar Cells by author: Peipei Xin which was release on 07 December 2021 and published by Unknown with total page 144 pages . This book available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle Format. Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based thin film solar cells are considered to be one of the most promising photovoltaic technologies. Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar devices have the potential advantage of low-cost, fast fabrication by using semiconductor layers of only a few micrometers thick and high efficiency photovoltaics have been reported at both the cell and the module levels. CdS via chemical bath deposition (CBD) has been the most widely used buffer option to form the critical junction in CIGS-based thin film photovoltaic devices. However, the disadvantages of CdS can’t be ignored - regulations on cadmium usage are getting stricter primarily due to its toxicity and environmental impacts, and the proper handling of the large amount of toxic chemical bath waste is a massive and expensive task. ☐ This dissertation is devoted to the development of Cd-free alternative buffer layers in CIGS-based thin film solar cells. Based on the considerations of buffer layer selection criteria and extensive literature review, Zn-compound buffer materials are chosen as the primary investigation candidates. Radio frequency magnetron sputtering is the preferred buffer deposition approach since it’s a clean and more controllable technique compared to CBD, and is readily scaled to large area manufacturing. ☐ First, a comprehensive study of the ZnSe1-xOx compound prepared by reactive sputtering was completed. As the oxygen content in the reactive sputtering gas increased, ZnSe1-xOx crystallinity and bandgap decreased. It’s observed that oxygen miscibility in ZnSe was low and a secondary phase formed when the O2 / (O2 + Ar) ratio in the sputtering gas exceeded 2%. Two approaches were proposed to optimize the band alignment between the CIGS and buffer layer. One method focused on the bandgap engineering of the absorber, the other focused on the band structure modification of the buffer. As a result, improved current of the solar cell was achieved although a carrier transport barrier at the junction interface still limited the device performance. ☐ Second, an investigation of Zn(S,O) buffer layers was completed. Zn(S,O) films were sputtered in Ar using a ZnO0.7S0.3 compound target. Zn(S,O) films had the composition close to the target with S / (S+O) ratio around 0.3. Zn(S,O) films showed the wurtzite structure with the bandgap about 3.2eV. The champion Cu(In,Ga)Se2 / Zn(S,O) cell had 12.5% efficiency and an (Ag,Cu)(In,Ga)Se2 / Zn(S,O) cell achieved 13.2% efficiency. Detailed device analysis was used to study the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and (Ag,Cu)(In,Ga)Se2 absorbers, the influence of absorber surface treatments, the effects of device treatments, the sputtering damage and the Na concentration in the absorber. ☐ Finally alternative buffer layer development was applied to an innovative superstrate CIGS configuration. The superstrate structure has potential benefits of improved window layer properties, cost reduction, and the possibility to implement back reflector engineering techniques. The application of three buffer layer options – CdS, ZnO and ZnSe was studied and limitations of each were characterized. The best device achieved 8.6% efficiency with a ZnO buffer. GaxOy formation at the junction interface was the main limiting factor of this device performance. For CdS / CIGS and ZnSe / CIGS superstrate devices extensive inter-diffusion between the absorber and buffer layer under CIGS growth conditions was the critical problem. Inter-diffusion severely deteriorated the junction quality and led to poorly behaved devices, despite different efforts to optimize the fabrication process.

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