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Title: A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System

Abstract

As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to reproducibly test promising candidates for high-performing PV devices. Many early-stage devices are prone to device shunting due to pinholes in the absorber layer, producing “false-negative” results. We demonstrate a device engineering solution toward a robust device architecture, using a two-step absorber deposition approach. We use tin sulfide (SnS) as a test absorber material. The SnS bulk is processed at high temperature (400 °C) to stimulate grain growth, followed by a much thinner, low-temperature (200 °C) absorber deposition. At a lower process temperature, the thin absorber overlayer contains significantly smaller, densely packed grains, which are likely to provide a continuous coating and fill pinholes in the underlying absorber bulk. We compare this two-step approach to the more standard approach of using a semi-insulating buffer layer directly on top of the annealed absorber bulk, and we demonstrate a more than 3.5× superior shunt resistance R sh with smaller standard error σ Rsh. Electron-beam-induced current (EBIC) measurements indicate a lower density of pinholes in the SnS absorber bulk when using the two-step absorber deposition approach. We correlate those findings to improvements in the device performance andmore » device performance reproducibility.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  4. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1325511
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5J00-67109
Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; EE0005329
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 34; Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; thin-films; photovoltaics; novel absorber materials; tin sulfide; device shunting; performance reliability

Citation Formats

Steinmann, Vera, Chakraborty, Rupak, Rekemeyer, Paul H., Hartman, Katy, Brandt, Riley E., Polizzotti, Alex, Yang, Chuanxi, Moriarty, Tom, Gradečak, Silvija, Gordon, Roy G., and Buonassisi, Tonio. A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1021/acsami.6b07198.
Steinmann, Vera, Chakraborty, Rupak, Rekemeyer, Paul H., Hartman, Katy, Brandt, Riley E., Polizzotti, Alex, Yang, Chuanxi, Moriarty, Tom, Gradečak, Silvija, Gordon, Roy G., & Buonassisi, Tonio. A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System. United States. doi:10.1021/acsami.6b07198.
Steinmann, Vera, Chakraborty, Rupak, Rekemeyer, Paul H., Hartman, Katy, Brandt, Riley E., Polizzotti, Alex, Yang, Chuanxi, Moriarty, Tom, Gradečak, Silvija, Gordon, Roy G., and Buonassisi, Tonio. Fri . "A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System". United States. doi:10.1021/acsami.6b07198. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1325511.
@article{osti_1325511,
title = {A Two-Step Absorber Deposition Approach To Overcome Shunt Losses in Thin-Film Solar Cells: Using Tin Sulfide as a Proof-of-Concept Material System},
author = {Steinmann, Vera and Chakraborty, Rupak and Rekemeyer, Paul H. and Hartman, Katy and Brandt, Riley E. and Polizzotti, Alex and Yang, Chuanxi and Moriarty, Tom and Gradečak, Silvija and Gordon, Roy G. and Buonassisi, Tonio},
abstractNote = {As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to reproducibly test promising candidates for high-performing PV devices. Many early-stage devices are prone to device shunting due to pinholes in the absorber layer, producing “false-negative” results. We demonstrate a device engineering solution toward a robust device architecture, using a two-step absorber deposition approach. We use tin sulfide (SnS) as a test absorber material. The SnS bulk is processed at high temperature (400 °C) to stimulate grain growth, followed by a much thinner, low-temperature (200 °C) absorber deposition. At a lower process temperature, the thin absorber overlayer contains significantly smaller, densely packed grains, which are likely to provide a continuous coating and fill pinholes in the underlying absorber bulk. We compare this two-step approach to the more standard approach of using a semi-insulating buffer layer directly on top of the annealed absorber bulk, and we demonstrate a more than 3.5× superior shunt resistance Rsh with smaller standard error σRsh. Electron-beam-induced current (EBIC) measurements indicate a lower density of pinholes in the SnS absorber bulk when using the two-step absorber deposition approach. We correlate those findings to improvements in the device performance and device performance reproducibility.},
doi = {10.1021/acsami.6b07198},
journal = {ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces},
issn = {1944-8244},
number = 34,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {8}
}

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