Modelling Band Gap Gradients and Cd-free Buffer Layers in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells
Abstract: A deeper understanding of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells is important for the further improvement of these devices. This thesis is focused on the use of electrical modelling as a tool for pursuing this aim. Finished devices and individual layers are characterized and the acquired data are used as input in the simulations. Band gap gradients are accounted for when modelling the devices. The thesis is divided into two main parts. One part that treats the influence of cadmium free buffer layers, mainly atomic layer deposited (Zn,Mg)O, on devices and another part in which the result of CIGS absorber layer modifications is studied. Recombination analysis indicates that interface recombination is limitting the open circuit voltage (Voc) in cells with ZnO buffer layers. This recombination path becomes less important when magnesium is introduced into the ZnO giving a positive conduction band offset (CBO) towards the CIGS absorber layer. Light induced persistent photoconductivity (PPC) is demonstrated in (Zn,Mg)O thin films. Device modelling shows that the measured PPC, coupled with a high density of acceptors in the buffer-absorber interface region, can explain light induced metastable efficiency improvement in CIGS solar cells with (Zn,Mg)O buffer layers. It is shown that a thin indium rich layer closest to the buffer does not give any significant impact on the performance of devices dominated by recombination in the CIGS layer. In our cells with CdS buffer the diffusion length in the CIGS layer is the main limitting factor. A thinner CIGS layer improves Voc by reducing recombination. However, for thin enough absorber layers Voc deteriorates due to recombination at the back contact. Interface recombination is a problem in thin devices with Zn(O,S) buffer layers. This recombination path is overshadowed in cells of standard thickness by recombination in the CIGS bulk. Thin cells with Zn(O,S) buffer layers have a higher efficiency than CdS cells with the same absorber thickness.
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