Thumbnail Image

Annihilation of structural defects in chalcogenide absorber films for high-efficiency solar cells

Mainz, Roland; Sanli, Ekin Simsek; Stange, Helena; Azulay, Doron; Brunken, Stephan; Greiner, Dieter; Hajaj, Shir; Heinemann, Marc D.; Kaufmann, Christian A.; Klaus, Manuela; Ramasse, Quentin M.; Rodriguez-Alvarez, Humberto; Weber, Alfons; Balberg, Isaac; Millo, Oded; Aken, Peter A. van; Abou-Ras, Daniel

In polycrystalline semiconductor absorbers for thin-film solar cells, structural defects may enhance electron-hole recombination and hence lower the resulting energy conversion efficiency. To be able to efficiently design and optimize fabrication processes that result in high-quality materials, knowledge of the nature of structural defects as well as their formation and annihilation during film growth is essential. Here we show that in co-evaporated Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 absorber films the density of defects is strongly influenced by the reaction path and substrate temperature during film growth. A combination of high-resolution electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and X-ray diffraction shows that Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 absorber films deposited at low temperature without a Cu-rich stage suffer from a high density of - partially electronically active - planar defects in the {112} planes. Real-time X-ray diffraction reveals that these faults are nearly completely annihilated during an intermediate Cu-rich process stage with [Cu]/([In] + [Ga]) > 1. Moreover, correlations between real-time diffraction and fluorescence analysis during Cu-Se deposition reveal that rapid defect annihilation starts shortly before the start of segregation of excess Cu-Se at the surface of the Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 film. The presented results hence provide direct insights into the dynamics of the film-quality-improving mechanism.
Published in: Energy & environmental science, 10.1039/c6ee00402d, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.