skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Cation ratio fluctuations in Cu2ZnSnS4 at the 20 nm length scale investigated by analytical electron microscopy

Kesterite Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTSSe) is a sustainable material for thin-film photovoltaics with device efficiencies greater than 12% have been demonstrated. Despite similar crystal structure and polycrystalline film microstructures, there is widespread evidence for larger-amplitude potential and bandgap fluctuations in CZTS than in the analogous Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) chalcopyrite material. This disorder is believed to account for a sizable part of the larger open-circuit voltage (VOC) deficit in CZTS devices, yet the detailed origins and length scales of these fluctuations have not been fully elucidated. Herein, we present a transmission electron microscopy study focusing on composition variation within bulk multicrystals of CZTS grown by the travelling heater method (THM). In these slow-cooled, solution grown crystals we find direct evidence for spatial composition fluctuations of amplitude <1 at.% (~5 x 1020 cm-3) and thus, explainable by point defects. However, rather than being homogeneously-distributed we find a characteristic 20 nm length scale for these fluctuations, which sets a definite length scale for band gap and potential fluctuations. At Σ3 grain boundaries, we find no evidence of composition variation compared to the bulk. The finding highlights such variations reported at grain boundaries in polycrystalline thin-films are direct consequences of processing methods and not intrinsic properties ofmore » CZTS itself.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [6]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden CO 80401 USA
  2. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112 USA
  3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112 USA
  4. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112 USA; Department of Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889 2192 Japan
  5. Department of Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889 2192 Japan
  6. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112 USA; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112 USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1325067
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-66305
Journal ID: ISSN 1862-6300
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physica Status Solidi. A, Applications and Materials Science; Journal Volume: 213; Journal Issue: 9
Publisher:
Wiley
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY CZTS; inverted structures; nanodomains; STEM