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Optimizing Ga-profiles for highly efficient Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin film solar cells in simple and complex defect models
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics. (Ångström Solar Center)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4125-4002
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ISSN 0022-3727, E-ISSN 1361-6463, Vol. 47, no 48, 485104- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Highly efficient Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 photovoltaic thin film solar cells often have a compositional variation of Ga to In in the absorber layer, here described as a Ga-profile. In this work we have studied the role of Ga-profiles in four different models, based on input data from electrical and optical characterizations of an in-house state-of-the-art Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cell with power conversion efficiency above 19 %. A simple defect model with mid-gap defects in the absorber layer was compared with models with Ga-dependent defect concentrations and amphoteric defects. In these models optimized single-graded Ga-profiles have been compared with optimized double-graded Ga-profiles. It was found that the defect concentration for effective Shockley-Read-Hall recombination is low for high efficiency CIGS devices and that the doping concentration of the absorber layer, chosen according to the defect model, is paramount when optimizing Ga-profiles. For optimized single-graded Ga-profiles the simulated power conversion efficiency, depending on the model, is 20.5-20.8 %, and the equivalent double-graded Ga-profiles yield 20.6-21.4 %, indicating that the bandgap engineering of the CIGS device structure can lead to improvements in efficiency. Apart from the effects of increased doping in the complex defect models, the results are similar when comparing the complex defect models to the simple defect models. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 47, no 48, 485104- p.
Keyword [en]
Solar cell, CIGS, modelling, simulation, optimizing, Ga-profile
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Electronics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-235838DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/47/48/485104ISI: 000344941100009OAI: diva2:763959
Swedish Research Council, B0393101Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modeling and electrical characterization of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and Cu2ZnSnS4 solar cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling and electrical characterization of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and Cu2ZnSnS4 solar cells
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, modeling and electrical characterization have been performed on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) and Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) thin film solar cells, with the aim to investigate potential improvements to power conversion efficiency for respective technology. The modeling was primarily done in SCAPS, and current-voltage (J-V), quantum efficiency (QE) and capacitance-voltage (C-V) were the primary characterization methods. In CIGS, models of a 19.2 % efficient reference device were created by fitting simulations of J-V and QE to corresponding experimental data. Within the models, single and double GGI = Ga/(Ga+In) gradients through the absorber layer were optimized yielding up to 2 % absolute increase in efficiency, compared to the reference models. For CIGS solar cells of this performance level, electron diffusion length (Ln) is comparable to absorber thickness. Thus, increasing GGI towards the back contact acts as passivation and constitutes largest part of the efficiency increase. For further efficiency increase, majority bottlenecks to improve are optical losses and electron lifetime in the CIGS. In a CZTS model of a 6.7 % reference device, bandgap (Eg) fluctuations and interface recombination were shown to be the majority limit to open circuit voltage (Voc), and Shockley-Read-Hall (SRH) recombination limiting Ln and thus being the majority limit to short-circuit current and fill-factor. Combined, Eg fluctuations and interface recombination cause about 10 % absolute loss in efficiency, and SRH recombination about 9 % loss, compared to an ideal system. Part of the Voc-deficit originates from a cliff-type conduction band offset (CBO) between CZTS and the standard CdS buffer layer, and the energy of the dominant recombination path (EA) is around 1 eV, well below Eg for CZTS. However, it was shown that the CBO could be adjusted and improved with Zn1-xSn­xOy buffer layers. Best results gave EA = 1.36 eV, close to Eg = 1.3-1.35 eV for CZTS as given by photoluminescence, and the Voc-deficit decreased almost 100 mV. Experimentally by varying the absorber layer thickness in CZTS devices, the efficiency saturated at <1 μm, due to short Ln, expected to be 250-500 nm, and narrow depletion width, commonly of the order 100 nm in in-house CZTS. Doping concentration (NA) determines depletion width, but is critical to device performance in general. To better estimate NA with C-V, ZnS and CZTS sandwich structures were created, and in conjunction with simulations it was seen that the capacitance extracted from CZTS is heavily frequency dependent. Moreover, it was shown that C-V characterization of full solar cells may underestimate NA greatly, meaning that the simple sandwich structure might be preferable in this type of analysis. Finally, a model of the Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 was created to study the effect of S/(S+Se) gradients, in a similar manner to the GGI gradients in CIGS. With lower Eg and higher mobility for pure selenides, compared to pure sulfides, it was seen that increasing S/(S+Se) towards the back contact improves efficiency with about 1 % absolute, compared to the best ungraded model where S/(S+Se) = 0.25. Minimizing Eg fluctuation in CZTS in conjunction with suitable buffer layers, and improving Ln in all sulfo-selenides, are needed to bring these technologies into the commercial realm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 86 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1514
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320308 (URN)978-91-554-9909-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-08, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Läderhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationSwedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-05-18 Created: 2017-04-18 Last updated: 2017-06-07

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