Metastability of copper indium gallium diselenide polycrystalline thin film solar cell devices
Lee, Jinwoo, 1973-
High efficiency thin film solar cells have the potential for being a world energy solution because of their cost-effectiveness. Looking to the future of solar energy, there is the opportunity and challenge for thin film solar cells. The main theme of this research is to develop a detailed understanding of electronically active defect states and their role in limiting device performance in copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells. Metastability in the CIGS is a good tool to manipulate electronic defect density and thus identify its effect on the device performance. Especially, this approach keeps many device parameters constant, including the chemical composition, grain size, and interface layers. Understanding metastability is likely to lead to the improvement of CIGS solar cells. We observed systematic changes in CIGS device properties as a result of the metastable changes, such as increases in sub-bandgap defect densities and decreases in hole carrier mobilities. Metastable changes were characterized using high frequency admittance spectroscopy, drive-level capacitance profiling (DLCP), and current-voltage measurements. We found two distinctive capacitance steps in the high frequency admittance spectra that correspond to (1) the thermal activation of hole carriers into/out of acceptor defect and (2) a temperature-independent dielectric relaxation freeze-out process and an equivalent circuit analysis was employed to deduce the dielectric relaxation time. Finally, hole carrier mobility was deduced once hole carrier density was determined by DLCP method. We found that metastable defect creation in CIGS films can be made either by light-soaking or with forward bias current injection. The deep acceptor density and the hole carrier density were observed to increase in a 1:1 ratio, which seems to be consistent with the theoretical model of V Cu -V Se defect complex suggested by Lany and Zunger. Metastable defect creation kinetics follows a sub-linear power law in time and intensity. Numerical simulation using SCAPS-1D strongly supports a compensated donor- acceptor conversion model for the experimentally observed metastable changes in CIGS. This detailed numerical modeling yielded qualitative and quantitative agreement even for a specially fabricated bifacial CIGS solar cell. Finally, the influence of reduced hole carrier mobility and its role in limiting device performance was investigated.