photovoltaics, thin-film solar cells, CIGS, CIGSeS, rapid thermal processing (RTP)


A rapid thermal processing (RTP) reactor for the preparation of graded CuIn1-xGaxSe2-ySy (CIGSeS) thin-film solar cells has been designed, assembled and is being used at the Photovoltaic Materials Laboratory of the Florida Solar Energy Center. CIGSeS films having the optimum composition, morphology, and semiconducting properties were prepared using RTP. Initially films having various Cu/(In+Ga) ratios were prepared. In the next step selenium incorporation in these films was optimized, followed by sulfur incorporation in the surface to increase the bandgap at the surface. The compositional gradient of sulfur was fine-tuned so as to increase the conversion efficiency. Materials properties of these films were characterized by optical microscopy, SEM, AFM, EDS, XRD, GIXRD, AES, and EPMA. The completed cells were extensively studied by electrical characterization. Current-voltage (I-V), external and internal quantum efficiency (EQE and IQE), capacitance-voltage (C-V), and light beam induced current (LBIC) analysis were carried out. Current Density (J)-Voltage (V) curves were obtained at different temperatures. The temperature dependence of the open circuit voltage and fill factor has been estimated. The bandgap value calculated from the intercept of the linear extrapolation was ~1.1-1.2 eV. Capacitance-voltage analysis gave a carrier density of ~4.0 x 1015 cm-3. Semiconductor properties analysis of CuIn1-xGaxSe2-ySy (CIGSeS) thin-film solar cells has been carried out. The values of various PV parameters determined using this analysis were as follows: shunt resistance (Rp) of ~510 Ohms-cm2 under illumination and ~1300 Ohms-cm2 in dark, series resistance (Rs) of ~0.8 Ohms-cm2 under illumination and ~1.7 Ohms-cm2 in dark, diode quality factor (A) of 1.87, and reverse saturation current density (Jo) of 1.5 x 10-7A cm-2. The efficiency of 12.78% obtained during this research is the highest efficiency obtained by any University or National Lab for copper chalcopyrite solar cells prepared by RTP. CIGS2 cells have a better match to the solar spectrum due to their comparatively higher band-gap as compared to CIGS cells. However, they are presently limited to efficiencies below 13% which is considerably lower than that of CIGS cells of 19.9%. One of the reasons for this lower efficiency is the conduction band offset between the CIGS2 absorber layer and the CdS heterojunction partner layer. The band offset value between CIGS2 and CdS was estimated by a combination of ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and Inverse Photoemission Spectroscopy (IPES) to be -0.45 eV, i.e. a cliff is present between these two layers, enhancing the recombination at the junction, this limits the efficiency of CIGS2 wide-gap chalcopyrite solar cells.


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Graduation Date



Dhere, Neelkanth


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Release Date

November 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)