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Characterization of Grain Boundaries in Cu(In,Ga)Se _{\bf 2} Films Using Atom-Probe Tomography

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6 Author(s)
Oana Cojocaru-MirĂ©din ; Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Germany ; Pyuck-Pa Choi ; Daniel Abou-Ras ; Sebastian S. Schmidt
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This paper discusses the advantages of pulsed laser atom-probe tomography (APT) to analyze Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based solar cells. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) was exploited for site-specific preparation of APT samples at selected Cu(In,Ga)Se2 grain boundaries. This approach is very helpful not only to determine the location of grain boundaries but also to classify them as well. We demonstrate that correlative transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses on atom-probe specimens enable the atom-probe datasets to be reconstructed with high accuracy. Moreover, EBSD and TEM can be very useful to obtain complementary information about the crystal structure in addition to the compositional analyses. The local chemical compositions at grain boundaries of a solar grade Cu(In,Ga)Se2 film are presented here. Na, K, and O impurities are found to be segregated at grain boundaries. These impurities most likely diffuse from the soda lime glass substrate into the absorber layer during cell fabrication and processing. Based on the experimental results, we propose that Na, K, and O play an important role in the electrical properties of grain boundaries in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films for solar cells.

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IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 2 )