Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications

Cover image for Vol. 20 Issue 5

Special Issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells

August 2012

Volume 20, Issue 5

Pages 505–617

Issue edited by: Daniel Abou-Ras, David Cahen, Rommel Noufi, Thomas Unold

  1. Editorials

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorials
    3. Special issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells
    4. Accelerated Publication
    5. Literature Survey
  2. Special issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorials
    3. Special issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells
    4. Accelerated Publication
    5. Literature Survey
    1. Open questions after 20 years of CuInS2 research (pages 507–511)

      Roland Scheer

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2155

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      In the early 1990s, CuInS2 thin-film solar cells with >10% efficiency had been developed. Since then, they are limited by an open-circuit voltage, which is too low for the band gap of CuInS2. In this paper, we discuss interface and bulk aspects of CuInS2 and Cu(In,Ga)S2 cells, try to give a consistent picture and make suggestions for novel experiments.

    2. Kesterites—a challenging material for solar cells (pages 512–519)

      Susanne Siebentritt and Susan Schorr

      Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2156

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      This review summarised the recent progress made in the understanding of the semiconductor properties of kesterite materials.

    3. Ternary and multinary Cu-chalcogenide photovoltaic materials from CuInSe2 to Cu2ZnSnS4 and other compounds (pages 520–525)

      Takahiro Wada, Satoshi Nakamura and Tsuyoshi Maeda

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2183

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      The valence band maximum of such ternary and multinary copper chalcogenides (TMCC) is higher, and the bandgap is narrower than conventional II–VI compounds. In CuInSe2 (CIS), the In—Se bond is much stronger than the Cu—Se bond. This characteristic is advantageous for the “three-stage process” of high-quality CIS films. However, the characteristics of the other TMCC are not the same as those of CIS. A deposition process of high-quality TMCC films that exploits their characteristics of chemical bonding should be developed.

    4. Non-vacuum deposition of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 absorber layers from binder free, alcohol solutions (pages 526–533)

      Alexander R. Uhl, Carolin Fella, Adrian Chirilă, Marc R. Kaelin, Lassi Karvonen, Anke Weidenkaff, Camelia N. Borca, Daniel Grolimund, Yaroslav E. Romanyuk and Ayodhya N. Tiwari

      Article first published online: 31 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.1246

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      A solution-based processing route for CIGS absorber layers is presented that employs binder-free solutions of metals salts in non-toxic alcohol solvents. In this route, the absorber is formed in selenium atmosphere via gradual decomposition of a carbon-rich layer comprising carboxylic chelate complexes of metals. Fabricated solar cells exhibit efficiencies of up to 7.7% on 0.3 cm2 area without anti-reflection coating, which is among the highest reported efficiencies for solar cells from a solution process with non-explosive gases or solvents.

    5. New reaction kinetics for a high-rate chemical bath deposition of the Zn(S,O) buffer layer for Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based solar cells (pages 534–542)

      Dimitrios Hariskos, Richard Menner, Philip Jackson, Stefan Paetel, Wolfram Witte, Wiltraud Wischmann, Michael Powalla, Linda Bürkert, Torsten Kolb, Mike Oertel, Bernhard Dimmler and Bettina Fuchs

      Article first published online: 31 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.1244

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      The paper reports on a new reaction kinetics for the so-called chemical bath deposition of the zinc sulfide oxide Zn(S,O) buffer layer in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS)-based solar cells. The new approach allows industrially relevant growth rates. Applying the high-rate Zn(S,O) buffer layer in CIGS/Zn(S,O)/(Zn,Mg)O/ZnO:Al devices, highly efficient small area solar cells up to 19.1% and 60 ×120 cm2 modules up to 13.1% were realized. I-V curve of a champion 60 × 120 cm2 Cu(In,Ga)Se2 module with a high-rate Zn(S,O) buffer (Aperture area efficiency ηap = 13.1%, VOC/cell = 653 mV, FF = 71.0%, jSC = 28.4 mA/cm2, Pmax = 83.7 W, Aperture area Aap = 6374 cm2).

    6. Reaction routes for the synthesis of CuInSe2 using bilayer compound precursors (pages 543–556)

      R. Krishnan, D. Wood, V. U. Chaudhari, E. A. Payzant, R. Noufi, S. Rozeveld, W. K. Kim and T. J. Anderson

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2262

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      The bilayer compound precursor structure γ-In2Se3/β-Cu2Se was shown to be effective in synthesizing CuInSe2. The addition of CuSe or its formation through establishing a higher Se pressure resulted in a peritectic decomposition reaction to liquid phase assist growth. Rate parameters for the first-order diffusion process were estimated by following the reaction extent using high-temperature X-ray diffraction.

    7. The complex material properties of chalcopyrite and kesterite thin-film solar cell absorbers tackled by synchrotron-based analytics (pages 557–567)

      Susan Schorr, Roland Mainz, Harry Mönig, Iver Lauermann and Marcus Bär

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.1256

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      The power of different synchrotron-based characterization techniques to illuminate the structural, chemical and electronic properties of compound semiconductor thin-film solar cell absorbers is demonstrated. We propose a simultaneous application of these techniques to address the complex interplay of the different properties of chalcopyrite- and kesterite-type thin films.

    8. Influence of iron on defect concentrations and device performance for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells on stainless steel substrates (pages 568–574)

      Tobias Eisenbarth, Raquel Caballero, Christian A. Kaufmann, Axel Eicke and Thomas Unold

      Article first published online: 4 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2260

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      The influence of iron impurities on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin film solar cells deposited on stainless steel substrates has been investigated by secondary ion mass spectroscopy, admittance spectroscopy, and capacitance–voltage measurements. It is found that iron impurities induce a deep acceptor defect, which limits device performance if the iron impurity level is larger than 20 ppm. Iron impurities can be strongly reduced by lowering the substrate temperature and/or implementation of a barrier layer below the molybdenum back contact.

    9. Surface analysis of chalcopyrite materials for photovoltaics (pages 575–581)

      Angus Rockett

      Article first published online: 26 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2205

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      Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based solar cells perform extremely well because, as we have shown, they are effectively self-assembled radial-junction devices. Grain boundaries are not only harmless, but actually helpful because the junctions wrap around the grains. The very low surface energies produce very flat polar surfaces (see figure above) that are exceptionally suitable for the solar cell junction, causing faceting of grain boundaries that contributes to this self-assembly process.

    10. Towards ultrathin copper indium gallium diselenide solar cells: proof of concept study by chemical etching and gold back contact engineering (pages 582–587)

      Zacharie Jehl Li-Kao, Negar Naghavi, Felix Erfurth, Jean François Guillemoles, Isabelle Gérard, Arnaud Etcheberry, Jean Luc Pelouard, Stephane Collin, Georg Voorwinden and Daniel Lincot

      Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2162

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      Ultrathin absorber CIGSe solar cells down to 400 nm are realized with an alternative Au back contact. An innovative combination of chemical etching and “lift-off” of the absorber is presented. The Au alternative back reflector contact shows a remarkable improvement of the current when compared with the standard Mo back contact, without altering either the voltage or the fill factor. This leads to a +2.5% absolute increase of the efficiency for a 400-nm absorber CIGSe solar cell.

    11. About RC-like contacts in deep level transient spectroscopy and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells (pages 588–594)

      J. Lauwaert, L. Callens, S. Khelifi, K. Decock, M. Burgelman, A. Chirila, F. Pianezzi, S. Buecheler, A. N. Tiwari and H. Vrielinck

      Article first published online: 27 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2166

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      In this study, the properties of the N1-signal in Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy are compared with those expected for an RC-like contact. It is concluded that for the samples studied, the N1-signal follows the typical properties derived for an RC-like contact closely, and that such an identification is thus very probable.

    12. High-efficiency CIGS submodules (pages 595–599)

      Hironori Komaki, Shigenori Furue, Akimasa Yamada, Shogo Ishizuka, Hajime Shibata, Koji Matsubara and Shigeru Niki

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2172

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      The approaches and achievements in the development of high-efficiency CIGS monolithically-integrated submodules with 10 × 10 cm will be reported. The optimization of integration processes, such as mechanical scribing, as well as the improvement in electrical and optical properties of the ZnO window layers made possible the demonstration of high-efficency CIGS submodules, with efficiencies as high as η = 16.6% (aperture area: 67.2 cm2) and η = 15.8% (aperture area: 76.5 cm2) for the conventional and in-line evaporation process, respectively.

    13. 2D network simulation and luminescence characterization of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin film modules (pages 600–605)

      Thomas Ott, Francillina Robert Runai, Fabian Schwäble and Thomas Walter

      Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2171

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      Network simulation and luminescence characterization (electroluminescence and photoluminescence) are suitable tools for the detection of local defects and inhomogeneities in Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin-film modules. Local shunt defects, defective interconnects, and photocurrent inhomogeneities can be detected and interpreted by the luminescence and simulation techniques described in the article. Network simulation indicates that these defects primarily affect the fill factor of interconnected thin-film modules.

  3. Accelerated Publication

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorials
    3. Special issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells
    4. Accelerated Publication
    5. Literature Survey
    1. Solar cell efficiency tables (version 40) (pages 606–614)

      Martin A. Green, Keith Emery, Yoshihiro Hishikawa, Wilhelm Warta and Ewan D. Dunlop

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pip.2267

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      Consolidated tables showing an extensive listing of the highest independently confirmed efficiencies for solar cells and modules are presented. Guidelines for inclusion of results into these tables are outlined and new entries since January 2012 are reviewed.

  4. Literature Survey

    1. Top of page
    2. Editorials
    3. Special issue: Adventures in Cu-Chalcogenide Solar Cells
    4. Accelerated Publication
    5. Literature Survey

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