3 October 2007 Analysis and optimization of thin film photovoltaic materials and device fabrication by real time spectroscopic ellipsometry
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Methods of spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) have been applied to investigate the growth and properties of the material components used in the three major thin film photovoltaics technologies: (1) hydrogenated silicon (Si:H); (2) cadmium telluride (CdTe); and (3) copper indium-gallium diselenide (CuIn1-xGaxSe2 or CIGS). In Si:H technology, real time SE (RTSE) has been applied to establish deposition phase diagrams that describe very high frequency (vhf) plasmaenhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) processes for hydrogenated silicon (Si:H) and silicon-germanium alloy (Si1-xGex:H) thin films. This study has reaffirmed that the highest efficiencies for a-Si:H and a-Si1-xGex:H component solar cells of multijunction devices are obtained when the i-layers are prepared under maximal H2 dilution conditions. In CdTe technology, the magnetron sputter deposition of polycrystalline CdTe, CdS, and CdTe1-xSx thin films as well as the formation of CdS/CdTe and CdTe/CdS heterojunctions has been studied. The nucleation and growth behaviors of CdTe and CdS show strong variations with deposition temperature, and this influences the ultimate grain size. The dielectric functions ε of the CdTe1-xSx alloys have been deduced in order to set up a database for real time investigation of inter-diffusion at the CdS/CdTe and CdTe/CdS interfaces. In CIGS technology, strong variations in ε of the Mo back contact during sputter deposition have been observed, and these results have been understood applying a Drude relaxation time that varies with the Mo film thickness. Ex-situ SE measurements of a novel In2S3 window layer have shown critical point structures at 2.77±0.08 eV, 4.92±0.005 eV, and 5.64±0.005 eV, as well as an absorption tail with an onset near 1.9 eV. Simulations of solar cell performance comparing In2S3 and the conventional CdS have revealed similar quantum efficiencies, suggesting the possibility of a Cd-free window layer in CIGS technology.
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Jian Li, Jian Li, Jason A. Stoke, Jason A. Stoke, Nikolas J. Podraza, Nikolas J. Podraza, Deepak Sainju, Deepak Sainju, Anuja Parikh, Anuja Parikh, Xinmin Cao, Xinmin Cao, Himal Khatri, Himal Khatri, Nicolas Barreau, Nicolas Barreau, Sylvain Marsillac, Sylvain Marsillac, Xunming Deng, Xunming Deng, Robert W. Collins, Robert W. Collins, } "Analysis and optimization of thin film photovoltaic materials and device fabrication by real time spectroscopic ellipsometry", Proc. SPIE 6651, Photovoltaic Cell and Module Technologies, 665107 (3 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.736362; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.736362


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