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Title: Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells

Abstract

Statistical and correlative analysis are increasingly important in the design and study of new materials, from semiconductors to metals. Non-destructive measurement techniques, with high spatial resolution, capable of correlating composition and/or structure with device properties, are few and far between. For the case of polycrystalline and inhomogeneous materials, the added challenge is that nanoscale resolution is in general not compatible with the large sampling areas necessary to have a statistical representation of the specimen under study. For the study of grain cores and grain boundaries in polycrystalline solar absorbers this is of particular importance since their dissimilar behavior and variability throughout the samples makes it difficult to draw conclusions and ultimately optimize the material. In this study, we present a nanoscale in-operando approach based on the multimodal utilization of synchrotron nano x-ray fluorescence and x-ray beam induced current collected for grain core and grain boundary areas and correlated pixel-by-pixel in fully operational Cu(In(1-x)Gax)Se2Cu(In(1-x)Gax)Se2 solar cells. We observe that low gallium cells have grain boundaries that over perform compared to the grain cores and high gallium cells have boundaries that under perform. These results demonstrate how nanoscale correlative X-ray microscopy can guide research pathways towards grain engineering low cost, high efficiencymore » solar cells.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1343076
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-67905
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nano Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; CIGS; grain boundaries; solar cells; synchrotron; XRF; XBIC

Citation Formats

West, Bradley M., Stuckelberger, Michael, Guthrey, Harvey, Chen, Lei, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg, Rose, Volker, Shafarman, William, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, and Bertoni, Mariana I. Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.12.011.
West, Bradley M., Stuckelberger, Michael, Guthrey, Harvey, Chen, Lei, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg, Rose, Volker, Shafarman, William, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, & Bertoni, Mariana I. Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.12.011.
West, Bradley M., Stuckelberger, Michael, Guthrey, Harvey, Chen, Lei, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg, Rose, Volker, Shafarman, William, Al-Jassim, Mowafak, and Bertoni, Mariana I. Wed . "Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.12.011.
@article{osti_1343076,
title = {Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells},
author = {West, Bradley M. and Stuckelberger, Michael and Guthrey, Harvey and Chen, Lei and Lai, Barry and Maser, Jörg and Rose, Volker and Shafarman, William and Al-Jassim, Mowafak and Bertoni, Mariana I.},
abstractNote = {Statistical and correlative analysis are increasingly important in the design and study of new materials, from semiconductors to metals. Non-destructive measurement techniques, with high spatial resolution, capable of correlating composition and/or structure with device properties, are few and far between. For the case of polycrystalline and inhomogeneous materials, the added challenge is that nanoscale resolution is in general not compatible with the large sampling areas necessary to have a statistical representation of the specimen under study. For the study of grain cores and grain boundaries in polycrystalline solar absorbers this is of particular importance since their dissimilar behavior and variability throughout the samples makes it difficult to draw conclusions and ultimately optimize the material. In this study, we present a nanoscale in-operando approach based on the multimodal utilization of synchrotron nano x-ray fluorescence and x-ray beam induced current collected for grain core and grain boundary areas and correlated pixel-by-pixel in fully operational Cu(In(1-x)Gax)Se2Cu(In(1-x)Gax)Se2 solar cells. We observe that low gallium cells have grain boundaries that over perform compared to the grain cores and high gallium cells have boundaries that under perform. These results demonstrate how nanoscale correlative X-ray microscopy can guide research pathways towards grain engineering low cost, high efficiency solar cells.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.12.011},
journal = {Nano Energy},
issn = {2211-2855},
number = ,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {2}
}

Works referencing / citing this record:

Sodium enhances indium-gallium interdiffusion in copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic absorbers
journal, February 2018


Multimodal X-ray imaging of grain-level properties and performance in a polycrystalline solar cell
journal, May 2019

  • Ulvestad, A.; Hruszkewycz, S. O.; Holt, M. V.
  • Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, Vol. 26, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1107/s1600577519003606