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Title: Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando x-ray microscopy study

Abstract

The efficiency of thin-film solar cells with a Cu(In1-xGax)Se2 absorber is limited by nanoscopic inhomogeneities and defects. Traditional characterization methods are challenged by the multi-scale evaluation of the performance at defects that are buried in the device structures. Multi-modal X-ray microscopy offers a unique tool-set to probe the performance in fully assembled solar cells, and to correlate the performance with composition down to the micro- and nanoscale. We applied this approach to the mapping of temperature-dependent recombination for Cu(In1-xGax)Se2 solar cells with different absorber grain sizes, evaluating the same areas from room temperature to 100 °C. It was found that poor performing areas in the large-grain sample are correlated with a Cu-deficient phase, whereas defects in the small-grain sample are not correlated with the distribution of Cu. In both samples, classes of recombination sites were identified, where defects were activated or annihilated by temperature. More generally, the methodology of combined operando and in-situ X-ray microscopy was established at the physical limit of spatial resolution given by the device itself. As proof-of-principle, the measurement of nanoscopic current generation in a solar cell is demonstrated with applied bias voltage and bias light.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1598387
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1596185
Report Number(s):
DOE-ASU8163
Journal ID: ISSN 2515-7655
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0008163; AC02-06CH11357; EEC-1041895; EE0005948
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
JPhys Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: JPhys Energy Journal Volume: 2 Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2515-7655
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Stuckelberger, Michael E., Nietzold, Tara, West, Bradley, Farshchi, Rouin, Poplavskyy, Dmitry, Bailey, Jeff, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg M., and Bertoni, Mariana I. Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando x-ray microscopy study. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1088/2515-7655/ab5fa6.
Stuckelberger, Michael E., Nietzold, Tara, West, Bradley, Farshchi, Rouin, Poplavskyy, Dmitry, Bailey, Jeff, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg M., & Bertoni, Mariana I. Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando x-ray microscopy study. United Kingdom. doi:10.1088/2515-7655/ab5fa6.
Stuckelberger, Michael E., Nietzold, Tara, West, Bradley, Farshchi, Rouin, Poplavskyy, Dmitry, Bailey, Jeff, Lai, Barry, Maser, Jörg M., and Bertoni, Mariana I. Fri . "Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando x-ray microscopy study". United Kingdom. doi:10.1088/2515-7655/ab5fa6.
@article{osti_1598387,
title = {Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando x-ray microscopy study},
author = {Stuckelberger, Michael E. and Nietzold, Tara and West, Bradley and Farshchi, Rouin and Poplavskyy, Dmitry and Bailey, Jeff and Lai, Barry and Maser, Jörg M. and Bertoni, Mariana I.},
abstractNote = {The efficiency of thin-film solar cells with a Cu(In1-xGax)Se2 absorber is limited by nanoscopic inhomogeneities and defects. Traditional characterization methods are challenged by the multi-scale evaluation of the performance at defects that are buried in the device structures. Multi-modal X-ray microscopy offers a unique tool-set to probe the performance in fully assembled solar cells, and to correlate the performance with composition down to the micro- and nanoscale. We applied this approach to the mapping of temperature-dependent recombination for Cu(In1-xGax)Se2 solar cells with different absorber grain sizes, evaluating the same areas from room temperature to 100 °C. It was found that poor performing areas in the large-grain sample are correlated with a Cu-deficient phase, whereas defects in the small-grain sample are not correlated with the distribution of Cu. In both samples, classes of recombination sites were identified, where defects were activated or annihilated by temperature. More generally, the methodology of combined operando and in-situ X-ray microscopy was established at the physical limit of spatial resolution given by the device itself. As proof-of-principle, the measurement of nanoscopic current generation in a solar cell is demonstrated with applied bias voltage and bias light.},
doi = {10.1088/2515-7655/ab5fa6},
journal = {JPhys Energy},
number = 2,
volume = 2,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1088/2515-7655/ab5fa6

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Defect activation and annihilation in CIGS solar cells: an operando X-ray microscopy study
    text, January 2020

    • Stuckelberger, Michael E.; Nietzold, Tara; West, Bradley
    • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, DESY, Hamburg
    • DOI: 10.3204/pubdb-2019-03853