|AVS 54th International Symposium|
|Renewable Energy Science & Technology Topical Conference||Wednesday Sessions|
|Session:||Photovoltaics, Fuel Cells, and Alternative Energy Materials and Applications|
|Presenter:||S.A. Pethe, Florida Solar Energy Center|
|Authors:||S.A. Pethe, Florida Solar Energy Center
N.G. Dhere, Florida Solar Energy Center
|Correspondent:||Click to Email|
Solar cells based on CuInxGa1-xSe2(CIGS) have achieved efficiencies of 19.5% and therefore are promising candidates for economic, large-scale production. CIGS thin film solar cells having absorber thickness of 2.5 µm have shown good performance. However, CIGS being a direct bandgap material, theoretically efficient cells could be prepared with absorber thickness as low as 0.5 µm. The rationale behind decreasing the CIGS thickness is to reduce consumption of the scarce and costly resource, indium. It has been observed that the performance of the solar cells degrades as the thickness goes below 0.75 µm. 0.9 µm thick absorber layer are prepared at PV Mat Lab facility at Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) with device conversion efficiency of 6.26% as measured at FSEC. The reason for this degradation can be attributed to the defects in the bulk of the absorber material. We know from the Movchan&Demchishin zone model that the rate of grain growth becomes almost negligible once the grains with favored texture and orientation have consumed all the unfavorable grains. This results in columnar grain structure with parallel boundaries. Similar grain structure was observed for the CIGS absorber layers with thickness of about 2.5 µm. It was observed that the grains were finer towards the back contact and larger at the surface and as the thickness goes on reducing there is not enough material for the grains to grow and coalesce. This results in smaller grains and so larger grain boundaries. Another factor affecting the grain size is the mobility of the deposited species which can be increased by increasing the annealing temperatures during selenization. But in case of ultra thin film absorber layer the higher temperatures adversely affect the molybdenum back contact layer thus introducing higher series resistance issues. Hence, in case of ultra thin CIGS absorber layer the selenization time - temperature profile needs to be optimized to obtain a favorable columnar grain structure. The material characterization of the different absorber layers will be carried out using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The absorber layers would be further fabricated on to complete the device and current-voltage characteristics would be carried out to understand the effect of different temperature-time profiles on the device parameters such as open circuit voltage, short circuit current, fill factor and finally the conversion efficiency.