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Alternative back contact for CIGS solar cells built on sodium-free substrates
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It is widely known that the element sodium plays a vital role in providing highefficiency CIGS solar cells and that when cells are built on sodium free substrates theyneed an alternative (a substitute) sodium source. In this study a molybdenum-sodiumcompound has been deposited, investigated and evaluated as an alternative backcontact layer containing sodium. The compound had a 5 at % sodium concentrationand it was manufactured by an Austrian company called Plansee. The aim of the studywas to create an equivalent back contact in the sense of sodium delivery, conductivityand adhesion compared to a normal molybdenum back contact on a soda lime glass.

The experimental part of the study started with the construction of complete cells,which were fabricated and measured. This work took place at the ÅngströmLaboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden. The characteristics of the layer and the cellswere analyzed by current voltage measurements, quantum efficiency measurementsand secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis. Cell manufacturing involved sputtering,co evaporation and chemical deposition processes.

Results show that the molybdenum-sodium compound increases the efficiency of acell built on a sodium-free substrate. Efficiencies reached 8 % for cells without sodiumin the molybdenum and these cells produced 67 % efficiency and 80 % open circuitvoltage of the reference value. Cells with sodium in the back contact layer produced90 % of the efficiency and 95% of the open circuit voltage relative to the references.The best cell with the molybdenum-sodium compound reached an efficiency of 13.3%.

This implies that the new back contact layer acts as a sodium source but the cellshave 1-2 % lower efficiency than the reference cells built on soda lime glass. Othercharacteristics of the layer as conductivity and adhesion show no significant differenceto an ordinary molybdenum back contact.

Measurements also indicate that the sodium is probably located inside themolybdenum grains and just a small amount is found at the boundaries and in betweenthe grains. Sodium inside the molybdenum grains is difficult to extract and thereforenot enough sodium will diffuse into the CIGS layer.

The conclusions drawn from this study are that the molybdenum-sodium compoundhelps to increase the efficiency of a CIGS solar cell built on a sodium-free substrate,but it does not deliver enough sodium to constitute a substitute sodium source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 33 p.
UPTEC ES, ISSN 1650-8300 ; 11010
Keyword [en]
CIGS solar cells, solar power
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154004OAI: diva2:418623
Educational program
Master Programme in Energy Systems Engineering
Available from: 2011-08-10 Created: 2011-05-23 Last updated: 2011-08-10Bibliographically approved

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