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  1. Abstract

    Bandgap gradient is a proven approach for improving the open-circuit voltages (VOCs) in Cu(In,Ga)Se2and Cu(Zn,Sn)Se2thin-film solar cells, but has not been realized in Cd(Se,Te) thin-film solar cells, a leading thin-film solar cell technology in the photovoltaic market. Here, we demonstrate the realization of a bandgap gradient in Cd(Se,Te) thin-film solar cells by introducing a Cd(O,S,Se,Te) region with the same crystal structure of the absorber near the front junction. The formation of such a region is enabled by incorporating oxygenated CdS and CdSe layers. We show that the introduction of the bandgap gradient reduces the hole density in the front junction region and introduces a small spike in the band alignment between this and the absorber regions, effectively suppressing the nonradiative recombination therein and leading to improved VOCs in Cd(Se,Te) solar cells using commercial SnO2buffers. A champion device achieves an efficiency of 20.03% with a VOCof 0.863 V.

  2. CuInSe 2 (CIS) thin films ~ 500-650 Å in thickness have been deposited on c-Si substrates by two-stage thermal co-evaporation starting either from In 2 Se 3 [according to In 2 Se 3 + (2Cu+Se) → 2(CuInSe 2 )] or from Cu 2-x Se [according to Cu 2 Se + (2In+3Se) → 2(CuInSe 2 )]. The design of such processes is facilitated by accurate calibrations of Cu and In 2 Se 3 growth rates on substrate/film surfaces obtained by real time spectroscopic ellipsometry (RTSE). The two-stage deposited CIS films were also studied by RTSE to deduce (i) the evolution of film structure upon conversion of the starting In 2 Se 3 or Cu 2-x Se films to CIS via Cu+Se or In+Se co-evaporation, respectively, and (ii) the complex dielectric functions of the starting films as well as the resulting CIS. The goal is to fabricate CIS that develops large grains as early as possible during growth for high quality materials in tandem solar cell applications. Results indicate that by depositing Cu 2-x Se in the first stage and exposing the film to In+Se flux in the second stage [as in the third stage of a three-stage CIS process] well-defined bandgapmore »critical points with no detectable subgap absorption are noted in films as thin as 650 Å.« less