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  1. Tandem photovoltaic (PV) cells with higher efficiency limits than current market dominated crystalline silicon PV devices are poised to be the next generation of solar cells. In this study we focus on analysis of perovskite/Cu(In x Ga 1-x )Se 2 tandem solar cells in the context of real-world conditions. Using material properties and the most recently updated atmospheric data we simulate the device energy yield for locations with different climate conditions. We use the resultant data in calculating module levelized cost and analyze the conditions under which using different forms of tracking become the cost-effective approach at each location.
  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
  3. Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has been used to study the defect levels in thin film copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) which we are developing as the absorber layer for the bottom cell of a monolithically grown perovskite/CuInSe2 tandem solar cell. Temperature and laser power dependent PL measurements of thin film CIS for two different Cu/In ratios (0.66 and 0.80) have been performed. The CIS film with Cu/In = 0.80 shows a prominent donor-to-acceptor peak (DAP) involving a shallow acceptor of binding energy ~22 meV, with phonon replica at ~32 meV spacing. In contrast, PL measurement of CIS film for Cu/In = 0.66 taken at 20 K exhibited an asymmetric and broad PL spectrum with peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV. Laser intensity dependent PL revealed that the observed peaks 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV shift towards higher energy (aka j-shift) at ~11.7 meV/decade and ~ 8 meV/decade with increase in laser intensity respectively. The asymmetric and broad spectrum together with large j-shift suggests that the observed peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV were related to band to-tail (BT) and band-to-impurity (BI) transition, respectively. Such a band-tail-related transition originates from the potential fluctuation of defect states at low temperature. Themore »appearance of band related transition in CIS film with Cu/In = 0.66 is the indicator of the presence of large number of charged defect states.« less
  4. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) was performed on CuIn Se 2 (CIS) thin films and solar cells with a goal toward optimizing this low bandgap absorber for tandem applications. The CIS thin films and the absorbers in devices were deposited by one-stage thermal co-evaporation on silicon and on Mo-coated soda-lime glass substrates in a deposition system that has yielded CuIn 1-x Ga x Se 2 (CIGS) cells with > 17% efficiency using standard thickness (2.0 μm)x = 0.3 absorbers and > 13% using 0.7 μm low-Ga absorbers. In this study, a mapping capability for CIS Cu stoichiometry y = [Cu]/[In] over the film area was established based on a y-dependent parametric dielectric function (ε 1 , ε 2 ) with bandgap critical point E g decreasing linearly from 1.030 eV for y = 0.7 to 1.016 eV for y = 1.1. In addition, a full set of (ε 1 , ε 2 ) spectra measured for the CIS cell components enables analysis of SE data in terms of an accurate structural model for the device. With this model, spectra in the external quantum efficiency can be predicted, and deviations from this prediction can be attributed to incomplete collection of photogenerated electrons andmore »holes as simulated with a carrier collection profile.« less
  5. Abstract: Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe 2 (CIGS) or CuInSe 2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at everymore »layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.« less
  6. ABSTRACT Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI 3 ) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd 2+ , Zn 2+ , and Fe 2+ salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI 3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd 2+ or Zn 2+ in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.