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

We present that 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)Ga x)Se 2 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. In conclusion, these results demonstrate how nanoscale correlative X-ray microscopy can guide researchmore » pathways towards grain engineering low cost, high efficiency solar cells.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [6]
  1. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States). Institute of Energy Conversion
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS) and Center for Nanoscale Materials
  6. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering and School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; EE0005848; AC36-08GO28308; AC36-08-GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; CIGS; Grain boundaries; Solar Cells; Synchrotron; XRF; XBIC
OSTI Identifier:
1416731
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1398671

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., 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.. 2016. "Grain engineering: How nanoscale inhomogeneities can control charge collection in solar cells". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.12.011. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1416731.
@article{osti_1416731,
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 = {We present that 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)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. In conclusion, 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},
number = C,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}