Alternative heterojunction partners for CIS-based solar cells: Annual subcontract report, 29 December 1997--28 December 1998

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The focus of the Phase 1 effort concerned further development of ZnO buffer layers. This work included further optimization of the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth process and investigations of the interaction of zinc and oxygen with the absorber layers. Although much of the work had been done with Siemens' CIS material prior to this reporting period, a process for growing ZnO buffer layers on Siemens' CIGSS absorber had not been developed. The authors determined that a two-step procedure involving raising the substrate temperature to 250 C in nitrogen and then growing the buffer layer at 100 C works ... continued below

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Olsen, L. C. February 28, 2000.

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The focus of the Phase 1 effort concerned further development of ZnO buffer layers. This work included further optimization of the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth process and investigations of the interaction of zinc and oxygen with the absorber layers. Although much of the work had been done with Siemens' CIS material prior to this reporting period, a process for growing ZnO buffer layers on Siemens' CIGSS absorber had not been developed. The authors determined that a two-step procedure involving raising the substrate temperature to 250 C in nitrogen and then growing the buffer layer at 100 C works well with CIGSS material. Through collaboration with the Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), completed cells with efficiencies in the 11% to 12% range were fabricated with the following structure: RF n-ZnO/i-ZnO/CIGSS. Cells with this structure were included as part of the Transient team studies. Cells were subjected to dark storage at 80 C, followed by a light soak at 40 C at IEC. Illuminated I-V curves taken at each stage of the study determined that these cells do not degrade under dark-storage conditions, which had been observed for Siemens cells with CdS buffer layers. To understand the reaction of zinc and oxygen with the absorber layers, secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) depth concentration profiles were obtained for i-ZnO/CIS structures through collaboration with Angus Rockett at the University of Illinois. SIMS profiles were obtained for ZnO films grown on polycrystalline CIS and epitaxial CIS films grown on GaAs. Comparison of the profiles strongly suggests that zinc and oxygen diffuse into the CIS along grain boundaries during the MOCVD growth process. It is also proposed that excess zinc along grain boundaries may result in the grain boundaries being n-type, which can result in enhanced loss currents. This model is consistent with the apparent requirement that cell structures with MOCVD buffer layers must undergo an aging process in air before efficient cells can be obtained. Future studies will investigate processes that allow the aging step to be eliminated.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 28 Feb 2000

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  • Report No.: NREL/SR-520-27930
  • Grant Number: AC36-99GO10337
  • DOI: 10.2172/754633 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 754633
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709799

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  • February 28, 2000

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • March 25, 2016, 12:48 p.m.

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Olsen, L. C. Alternative heterojunction partners for CIS-based solar cells: Annual subcontract report, 29 December 1997--28 December 1998, report, February 28, 2000; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709799/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.