(447d) Low Temperature Processing of CIS Nanopowder for Flexible Substrates
α-CuIn1-xGaxSe2 based materials with direct band gap and high absorption coefficient are promising materials for high efficiency hetero-junction solar cells. CIGS champion cell efficiency (19.9%, AM1.5G) is very close to polycrystalline silicon (20.3%, AM1.5G). A reduction in the price of CIGS module is required for competing with well matured silicon technology. Price reduction can be achieved by decreasing the manufacturing cost and by increasing module efficiency. Manufacturing cost is mostly dominated by capital cost. Device properties of CIGS are strongly dependent on doping, defect chemistry and structure which in turn are dependent on growth conditions. The complex chemistry of CIGS is not fully understood to optimize and scale processes. Control of the absorber grain size, structural quality, texture, composition profile in the growth direction is important to achieving reliable device performance. In the present work, CIS and CGS nanoparticles were prepared by a liquid phase synthesis using simple reaction method and their structural and optical properties were investigated. XRD patterns of as-grown nanopowders indicate CIS (Cubic), CuSe2 (Orthorhombic) and excess selenium. Further, as-grown and annealed nanopowders were characterized by HRTEM and ICP-OES. Grain growth of the nanopowders was followed as a function of temperature using HT-XRD with overpressure of selenium. It was found that significant grain growth occurred between 300-400 οC accompanied by formation of β-Cu2-xSe at high temperature (500 οC) consistent with Cu-Se phase diagram. The result suggests that grain growth follows VLS mechanism which would be very useful for low temperature, high quality and economic processing of CIGS based solar cells.
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