Highly efficient Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells grown on flexible polymer films.
ABSTRACT Solar cells based on polycrystalline Cu(In,Ga)Se(2) absorber layers have yielded the highest conversion efficiency among all thin-film technologies, and the use of flexible polymer films as substrates offers several advantages in lowering manufacturing costs. However, given that conversion efficiency is crucial for cost-competitiveness, it is necessary to develop devices on flexible substrates that perform as well as those obtained on rigid substrates. Such comparable performance has not previously been achieved, primarily because polymer films require much lower substrate temperatures during absorber deposition, generally resulting in much lower efficiencies. Here we identify a strong composition gradient in the absorber layer as the main reason for inferior performance and show that, by adjusting it appropriately, very high efficiencies can be obtained. This implies that future manufacturing of highly efficient flexible solar cells could lower the cost of solar electricity and thus become a significant branch of the photovoltaic industry.
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ABSTRACT: In this review we present an overview of the different organic solar cells families. After recalling shortly the specificities of organic materials, the band structure, the electronic properties and the charge separation process in organic materials are shortly described. Then the new organic solar cell concepts are presented. Plastic organic solar cells consist either of two organic layers or a homogeneous mixture of two organic materials. One of them - either an organic dye or a semiconducting polymer - donates the electrons. The other component serves as the electron acceptor. Principles of these multi-layers and bulk heterojunctions are presented and discussed. Then some typical examples are presented, showing the fast evolution of the cells performances. Finally, a specific attention is devoted to the interfaces electrodes/organics. Indeed recent results show that, at least in the case of multi-layers cells, the introduction of thin buffer layers at the interfaces cathode/organic acceptor and/or anode/organic donor, can strongly improve the efficiency of the organic solar cells. About the interface organic acceptor/cathode, we report the influence of an exciton-blocking layer and/or an Al2O3 thin layer on the efficiency of CuPc/C60 based photovoltaic cells. The presence, or not, of a thin Al2O3 layer depends on the encapsulating process of the devices. In the case of glass/ITO/CuPc/C60/Al cells, the presence of an Al2O3 thin layer at the interface "organic acceptor/aluminium" increases strongly the open circuit voltage of the cells but decreases slightly their short circuit current and fill factor. In the case of glass/ITO/CuPc/C60/Alq3/Al cells, the open circuit voltage is systematically higher than without Alq3. However, in that case, the presence of Al2O3 does not improve significantly the cell performances. All these results are discussed in terms of series and shunt resistance values related to possible oxygen contamination and organic covalent action with the Al films. The effectiveness of these different phenomena depends on the presence, or not, of Alq3 and/or Al2O3 layers. About the interface anode/organic donor, it is shown that an ultra thin metallic film improves significantly the short circuit current and the cell performances. The anode in plastic solar cells, which is a transparent conductive oxide (TCO), is usually an indium tin oxide film (ITO). Indeed, when a ZnO anode is used, cells performances are far from those achieved with ITO. However, strong improvement of the cells efficiency is encountered when an ultra thin buffer layer is introduced between the ZnO and the organic film. The presence of this ultra thin buffer layer at the surface of the TCO allows decreasing the performance difference between the cells using ITO and those using ZnO. More generally such ultra thin buffer layer improves the solar cells performances. I: Introduction to the photovoltaic energy 1 : I-1. About the energy in the world: Availability to all citizens of safe and renewable energy in sufficient quantities is a prerequisite for a sustainable society. A clean energy is necessary to decrease the atmosphere contamination and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ensure people safety and security. A renewable energy is necessary, meaning that the use of finite fossil resources has to be gradually replaced. Therefore it is necessary to diversify the energy sources, mainly the renewable energies. It is a very urgent goal. Presently almost one thirds of the world population does not have access to electricity, while 20% of the world population of the developed countries use 80% of the world energy production. The very fast increase of the demand of the emerging countries highlights the urgency to develop renewable energies. Up to day photovoltaic energy is the most expensive source (Table I), which implies investigation in the field of cheap materials, low processing costs, ease of large scale manufacture…Journal of The Chilean Chemical Society - J CHIL CHEM SOC. 01/2008; 53(3).
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ABSTRACT: CuIn1−xGaxSe2 absorbers for highest efficiency state-of-the-art solar cells are generally deposited by a sequential three-stage coevaporation process from elemental sources. We investigated the influence of the maximum copper concentration used during processing in the second stage of the growth process. The impact on the Ga grading in the deposited layer was measured by SIMS. The position and slope of the Ga grading profiles were optimized for high efficiency solar cells. Effects on the phases found in the absorber layer were investigated by Raman spectroscopy. The recorded spectra show the formation of a group III rich phase in layers grown at high maximum Cu contents. Best PV parameters were achieved for solar cells developed with absorbers grown with [Cu]/[In+Ga]=1.05 at the end of the 2nd stage.Thin Solid Films 01/2011; 519(21):7232-7236. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: CuInxGa1−xSe2 thin films, with various Ga/(Ga+In) ratios, suitable for solar cells were processed by selenizing stacked Cu, Ga, and In precursor layers in a H2Se reactor in the temperature range of 400–500 °C. Cu/Ga/In and Cu/In/Ga precursors were obtained by sequential sputtering of the elemental layers. The Cu/Ga/In and Cu/In/Ga precursors, and the selenized films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and Auger electron spectroscopy. The precursors contained only binary and elemental phases in the as-deposited condition and after annealing. The selenized films had a nonuniform distribution of Ga and In. The surface of the selenized films were In rich, while the Mo/film interface in these films was Ga rich. The selenized films with Ga/(Ga+In) ratios greater than 0.25 contain graded Ga and In compositions, and the selenized films with Ga/(Ga+In) ratios less than 0.6 contain a phase-separated mixture of CuInSe2 and CuGaSe2 with the CuInSe2 near the surface and the CuGaSe2 near the Mo/film interface. Single phase, homogeneous CuInxGa1−xSe2 films were obtained by annealing the as-selenized films in argon in the temperature range of 500–600 °C for 60 min. Interdiffusion of In and Ga between the CuGaSe2 and the CuInSe2 phases was found to be responsible for the homogenization process. This homogenization process does not occur in the presence of a selenium atmosphere. Diffusion measurements yielded similar interdiffusion coefficients for Ga and In. The annealing temperature and time to effect homogenization depends on the Ga/(Ga+In) ratio of the absorber films. Films with lower Ga/(Ga+In) ratios require a homogenization temperature of 600 °C or more and films with higher Ga/(Ga+In) ratios homogenize at a lower temperature of 400–500 °C, for an annealing time of 60 min.Journal of Applied Physics 09/1997; 82(6):2896-2905. · 2.21 Impact Factor