A low temperature, single step, pulsed d.c magnetron sputtering technique for copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic absorber layers

Sreejith Karthikeyan, Kushagra Nagaich, Arthur E. Hill, Richard D. Pilkington, Stephen A. Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pulsed d.c Magnetron Sputtering (PdcMS) has been investigated for the first time to study the deposition of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin films for photovoltaic applications. Pulsing the d.c. in the mid frequency region enhances the ion intensity and enables long term arc-free operation for the deposition of high resistivity materials such as CIGS. It has the potential to produce films with good crystallinity, even at low substrate temperatures. However, the technique has not generally been applied to the absorber layers for photovoltaic applications. The growth of stoichiometric p-type CIGS with the desired electro-optical properties has always been a challenge, particularly over large areas, and has involved multiple steps often including a dangerous selenization process to compensate for selenium vacancies. The films deposited by PdcMS had a nearly ideal composition (Cu0.75In 0.88Ga0.12Se2) as deposited at substrate temperatures ranging from no intentional heating to 400°C. The films were found to be very dense and pin-hole free. The stoichiometry was independent of heating during the deposition, but the grain size increased with substrate temperature, reaching about ∼ 150 nm at 400°C. Hot probe analysis showed that the layers were p-type. The physical, structural and optical properties of these films were analyzed using SEM, EDX, XRD, and UV-VIS-NIR spectroscopy. The material characteristics suggest that these films can be used for solar cell applications. This novel ion enhanced single step low temperature deposition technique may have a critical role in flexible and tandem solar cell applications compared to other conventional techniques which require higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCompound Semiconductors
Subtitle of host publicationThin-Film Photovoltaics, LEDs, and Smart Energy Controls
Pages45-50
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2013
Event2013 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 1 2013Apr 5 2013

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
Volume1538
ISSN (Print)0272-9172

Other

Other2013 MRS Spring Meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period4/1/134/5/13

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    Karthikeyan, S., Nagaich, K., Hill, A. E., Pilkington, R. D., & Campbell, S. A. (2013). A low temperature, single step, pulsed d.c magnetron sputtering technique for copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic absorber layers. In Compound Semiconductors: Thin-Film Photovoltaics, LEDs, and Smart Energy Controls (pp. 45-50). (Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings; Vol. 1538). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2013.1008