Compositional gradients in sputtered thin CIGS photovoltaic films
Abstract: Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) is a semiconductor material and the basis of the promising thin-film photovoltaic technology with the same name. The CIGS film has a typical thickness of 1-2 mm, and solar cells based on CIGS technology has recently reached efficiencies of 23.3%. Ultra-thin CIGS solar cells use sub-micrometer thick films that require significantly less material and can be manufactured in a shorter amount oftime than films with typical thicknesses. With decreasing thickness, both electrical and optical losses get more significant and lower the overall performance. Electrical losses can be decreased by increasing the overall film quality and by utilising a graded bandgap throughout the CIGS layer. The band gap can be changed by varying the[Ga]/([Ga]+[In]) (GGI) ratio. Higher overall film quality and a higher band-gap towards the back of the absorber are expected to increase the performance. In this work, sputtered CIGS solar cells were made with different CIGS layer thicknesses, that ranged between 550-950 nm. Increased heat during deposition was examined and shown to increase the film quality and performance for all thicknesses. Two different ways of doping CIGS with Na was examined and it was found that higher Na content lead to an increasing predominance of the (112) plane. The bandgap was graded by varying the GGI composition throughout the CIGS layer and depth profiles were made with Glow-Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GDOES). It was found that a sputtered CuGaSe2 (CGS)layer below the CIGS-layer lead to a steep increase of the GGI near the back contact. When CGS made up 10% of the total CIGS layer thickness, a significant increase in performance was observed for all thicknesses. CIGS-absorbers with a less graded region with low GGI, making up 30% or 60% of the total CIGS layer thickness were made. A decrease in GGI in that region, was shown to increase the current but lower the voltage. No substantial increase in total performance compared to a fully graded CIGS layer was seen regardless of layer thickness. For further work the optical losses needs to be addressed and work on increasing the optical path in the CIGS layer needs to be done.
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