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This paper presents optimization studies on the formation of cadmium free buffer layers for high efficiency copper indium diselenide (CIGS) thin film solar cells using a vapor phase route. Indium sulfide layers have been deposited on CIGS substrates by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) at substrate temperatures between 140 and 260 °C using indium acetylacetonate and hydrogen sulfide precursors. The parametric study of the deposition temperature shows an optimal value at about 220°C, leading to an efficiency of 16.4 % which is a technological breakthrough. The analysis of the device shows that indium sulfide layers give an improvement of the blue response of the cells as compared a standard CdS processed cell, due to a high apparent band gap (2.7-2.8 eV), higher open circuit voltages (up to 665 mV) and fill factor (78 %). This denotes high interface quality of the system. Atomic diffusion processes of sodium and copper in the buffer layer are evidenced.
The opto-electronic properties of CuInSe2 and related compounds depend on their defect chemistry in a way that is far from being understood and in which ab initio calculations could help by providing new insights as shown previously. Ab initio calculations of energy and electronic structure of various intrinsic (including defect pairs) and extrinsic (including potential dopants such as Zn) point defects have been performed in the chalcopyrite semiconductors CuInSe2, some of them being computed for the first time by advanced ab initio techniques. The method used is based on the density functional theory within the framework of pseudo-potentials and plane waves basis set. The results are discussed in view of the existing data, models and calculations.
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