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Realization of ultrathin Copper Indium Gallium Di-selenide (CIGSe) solar cells

Abstract : In this thesis, we investigate on the possibility to realize ultrathin absorber Copper Indium Gallium Di-Selenide (CIGSe) solar cells, by reducing the CIGSe thickness from 2500 nm down to 100 nm, while conserving a high conversion efficiency.Using numerical modeling, we first study the evolution of the photovoltaic parameters when reducing the absorber thickness. A strong decrease of the efficiency of the solar cell is observed, mainly related to a reduced light absorption and carrier collection for thin and ultrathin CIGSe solar cells. Solutions to overcome these problems are proposed and the potential improvements are modeled; we show that front side (buffer layer, antireflection coating) and back side (reflective back contact, light scattering) engineering of an ultrathin device can potentially increase the conversion efficiency up to the level of a standard thick CIGSe solar cell.By using chemical bromine etching on a standard thick CIGSe layer, we realize solar cells with different absorber thicknesses and experimentally study the influence of the absorber thickness on the photovoltaic parameters of the devices. Experiments show a similar trends to that observed in numerical modeling.Front contact engineering on thin CIGSe solar cell is realized to increase the specific absorption in CIGSe, including alternative ZnS buffer, front ZnO:Al window texturation and anti-reflection coating. Substantial improvements are observed whatever the CIGSe thickness, with efficiencies higher that the default configuration.A back contact engineering at low temperature is realized by using an innovative approach combining chemical etching of the CIGSe and mechanical lift-off of the CIGSe from the original Molybdenum (Mo) substrate. New highly reflective materials previously incompatible with the standard solar cell process are used as back contact for thin and ultrathin CIGSe solar cells, and a comparative study between standard Mo back contact and alternative reflective Au back contact solar cells is performed. The Au back reflector significantly enhance the efficiency of solar cell with sub-micrometer absorbers compared to the standard Mo back reflector; an efficiency higher than 10 % on a 400 nm CIGSe is obtained with Au back contact (7.9% with standard Mo back contact). For further reduction of the absorber thickness down to 100-200 nm, numerical modeling show that a lambertian back reflector is needed to fully absorb the incident light in the CIGSe. An experimental proof of concept device with a CIGSe thickness of 200 nm and a lambertian back reflector is realized and characterized by reflection/transmission spectroscopy, and the experimental spectral response is determined by combining simulation and experimentally measured absorption. A short circuit current of 26 mA.cm-2 is determined with the lambertian back reflector, which is much higher than what is obtained for the same device with no reflector (15 mA.cm-2), and comparable to the short circuit current measured on a reference 2500 nm thick CIGSe solar cell (28 mA.cm-2). Lambertian back reflectors are therefore found to be the most effective way to enhance the efficiency of an ultrathin CIGSe solar cell up to the level of a reference thick CIGSe solar cell.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 5:03:16 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00697615, version 1

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Zacharie Jehl. Realization of ultrathin Copper Indium Gallium Di-selenide (CIGSe) solar cells. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112058⟩. ⟨tel-00697615⟩

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