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Henley S.J.,M Solv Ltd | Kula M.,M Solv Ltd | Brunton A.N.,M Solv Ltd | Chan C.W.A.,Intrinsiq Materials | And 2 more authors.
2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 | Year: 2015

A process to screen print and laser sinter copper metal grids on CIGS photovoltaic (PV) modules is presented. Localized laser sintering using a high-speed galvanometer scanner is used to render printed lines conductive at beam speed in excess of 1 m/s. It is shown that the laser process does not reduce the shunt resistance of mini-modules printed with all-copper grids, indicating that no thermal damage occurs due to the laser process. Considering the significant cost saving introduced by using copper paste, replacing silver grids with copper is shown as an attractive proposition for reducing the cost-per-watt of thin-film PV. © 2015 IEEE.


Broussillou C.,MINES ParisTech Center of materials | Andrieux M.,University Paris - Sud | Herbst-Ghysel M.,University Paris - Sud | Jeandin M.,MINES ParisTech Center of materials | And 3 more authors.
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells | Year: 2011

CuIn electrodeposited layers were annealed using rapid thermal processing (RTP) in a reactive atmosphere containing sulfur vapors. The CuInS2 formation mechanism during sulfurization of electrodeposited precursors proceeds mainly through direct sulfurization of the metallic CuIn alloy, forming spinel CuIn5S8 and chalcopyrite CuInS2 ternary phases. During the heating step, the CuIn metallic alloy gets richer in copper as the temperature increases and transforms from CuIn2 to Cu 11In9, then Cu16In9 and finally to Cu7In3. The use of rapidly cooled samples stopped after different durations of the process along with ex-situ XRD analysis enabled us to differentiate the Cu16In9 and Cu7In 3 phases. Finally, the efficiency of the solar cells made with the two-step electrodeposition and RTP low-cost process reaches 11% (active area 0.421 cm2), which is close to the results obtained for cells made with PVD precursors. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Insignares-Cuello C.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Fontane X.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Sanchez-Gonzalez Y.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Placidi M.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | And 7 more authors.
Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science | Year: 2015

The increasing importance of the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 based thin films photovoltaic industry claims for the development of new assessment and monitoring tools to answer the needs existing in the improvement of the control of the processes involved in the production of solar cells modules. In this frame, a strong interest has been given to the developmentmethodologies for the assessment of the CIGS absorber, nevertheless advanced optical tools for the characterization of the other layers in the solar cells are still missing. In this work,we report a non-destructive optical methodology based on resonant Raman concepts that has been developed for the characterization ofAl doped ZnO layers (AZO) that are used as window layer in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells. Doping the ZnO layer with Al leads to the presence of a characteristic defect induced band at 510cm-1 spectral region. The correlation of the relative intensity of this band with the resistivity of the layers provides a fast and reliable tool for their electrical monitoring. Analysis of solar cells fabricated with layers of different conductivities has allowed demonstration at cell level of the proposed methodology for the determination of efficiency losses related to degradation of the resistivity of the AZO layers.(Graph Presented). © 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


Oliva F.,Nexcis Photovoltaic Technology | Oliva F.,Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Saint - Etienne CMP | Broussillou C.,Nexcis Photovoltaic Technology | Annibaliano M.,Nexcis Photovoltaic Technology | And 5 more authors.
Thin Solid Films | Year: 2013

The development of low cost industrial processes is one of the key issues to make Cu(In,Ga)Se2 based solar cells reach grid-parity. Such a process is found by using a two-step technology based on the sequential electro-deposition of a metallic precursor followed by a rapid annealing. Three types of metallic precursors (two-compound systems as copper-indium, copper-gallium and three-compound system as copper-indium-gallium) have been electrodeposited on a molybdenum sputtered soda lime glass and alloyed through a low annealing temperature. Then a selenium film has been evaporated and the stack has been annealed at high temperature in a rapid thermal processing furnace. A one-step heating profile has been used from room temperature to 550 C in less than 1 min. Samples for which the heating was stopped after different annealing times have been characterized using several techniques: X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for elemental composition, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy for phase composition, scanning electron microscopy for structural analysis and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy for diffusion study. Preferential formation reactions of the two-compound based metallic precursors have been studied and compared with the copper-indium-gallium metallic precursor used in a two step process. A gallium free system reacts faster than a gallium-based system and presents well-formed ternary compound after a standard selenization. However, the incorporation of gallium can be improved through a longer annealing time or a higher annealing temperature. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Izquierdo-Roca V.,Iuniversitat Of Barcelona | Saucedo E.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Jaime-Ferrer J.S.,NEXCIS Photovoltaic Technology | Fontane X.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2011

This work reports the in-situ analysis of the electrochemical growth of CuInSe 2 precursors for the production of low cost CuIn(S,Se) 2 based solar cells by Raman scattering measurements performed at real time conditions. The measured data point out the existence of three stages in the growth of the layers: (a) initial stage characterised by the preferential growth of elemental Se and Cu rich phases, (b) intermediate stage where the preferential growth of the main CuInSe 2 phase takes place, and (c) final stage with a gradual increase in the spectral contributions from Se and CuSe secondary phases. This correlates with the spectral evolution of Cu poor ordered vacancy compound phases present in the layers, in spite of the overall Cu excess conditions typically used in these processes. These in-situ measurements allow elucidating the main growth mechanisms involved in the electrochemical synthesis of CuInSe 2. Existence of different growth stages during the process determines a non-homogeneous in-depth distribution of the secondary phases in the deposited layers that are determining for the final efficiency of the devices. © 2011 The Electrochemical Society.


Insignares-Cuello C.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Izquierdo-Roca V.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Lopez-Garcia J.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Calvo-Barrio L.,University of Barcelona | And 8 more authors.
Solar Energy | Year: 2014

This work reports the optical non-destructive assessment of the relative Ga content in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 absorbers synthesized from electrodeposited precursors using combined photoluminescence (PL) and Raman scattering. Comparison of the PL measurements with the Auger Spectroscopy characterization of the layers has allowed performing a calibration of the dependence of the PL peak energy on the absorber composition. This opens the possibility for the nondestructive chemical assessment of the absorbers synthesized with these low cost processes. Extension of these measurements using a confocal microscope demonstrates their viability for the nondestructive quantitative chemical profiling of the layers. Correlation of these data with Raman spectra measured with the same experimental setup allows deepening in the interpretation of the spectra, giving additional information related to the microcrystalline quality of the layers and the presence of secondary phases. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Insignares-Cuello C.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Oliva F.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Neuschitzer M.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | Fontane X.,Catalonia Institute for Energy Research IREC | And 7 more authors.
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells | Year: 2015

This work reports a detailed comparative study of electrodeposition-based (ED) cells fabricated with S-free Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and S-containing Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 absorbers. ED based processes have a strong interest, because of their potential for cost reduction. ED of metal precursors followed by Rapid Thermal Process (RTP) with elemental Se and S has demonstrated to successfully obtain 60×120 cm2 modules up to 14% aperture area (AA) efficiency. In this work, the impact of the presence of S in the surface region of the absorbers is analyzed in detail. The results show the possibility to obtain high efficiency, reproducible cells by careful control of this parameter, which is assessed by Raman scattering. Standard techniques for surface S content measurement are limited due to either overall composition estimation (X-ray diffraction), overlap of S and Mo signals (X-ray fluorescence) or their need for handling samples under vacuum conditions and/or their destructive character (inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, secondary ions mass spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy...). In this framework Raman scattering is interesting as it is non-destructive and very sensitive to both composition and crystal quality. This work proposes a Raman scattering based methodology for the quantitative analysis of the anion composition ratio in the surface region of the absorbers, providing with a simple non-destructive assessment procedure of this relevant parameter. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Romanyuk Y.E.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Hagendorfer H.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Stucheli P.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Fuchs P.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | And 10 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2015

Solution processing of inorganic thin films has become an important thrust in material research community because it offers low-cost and high-throughput deposition of various functional coatings and devices. Especially inorganic thin film solar cells - macroelectronic devices that rely on consecutive deposition of layers on large-area rigid and flexible substrates - could benefit from solution approaches in order to realize their low-cost nature. This article critically reviews existing deposition approaches of functional layers for chalco-genide solar cells with an extension to other thin film technologies. Only true solutions of readily available metal salts in appropriate solvents are considered without the need of pre-fabricated nanoparticles. By combining three promising approaches, an air-stable Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin film solar cell with efficiency of 13.8% is demonstrated where all constituent layers (except the metal back contact) are processed from solutions. Notably, water is employed as the solvent in all steps, highlighting the potential for safe manufacturing with high utilization rates. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Bermudez V.,NEXCIS Photovoltaic Technology | Escoubas L.,Aix - Marseille University | Le Rouzo J.,Aix - Marseille University | Simon J.-J.,Aix - Marseille University
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy | Year: 2014

The main idea of the NextGen Nano Photovoltaic (PV) Conference was to share the experience of researchers and engineers focused on new concepts at the nanoscale, where one can change the architecture of the solar cell and open new opportunities for low-cost processes to capture light, convert it, and then move charges through the solar cell structure. The timing of these two combined events (workshop and spring school in parallel) was excellent as these technologies could have a dramatic impact on efficiency, help produce low-cost devices and reduce the quantity of materials used, and thus lead the way to a true technological breakthrough leading to the mass deployment of photovoltaic technologies. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


PubMed | Chimie Paristech, CNRS Laboratory for Photonics and Nanostructures and NEXCIS Photovoltaic Technology
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2015

This paper presents the low cost electrodeposition of a transparent and conductive chlorine doped ZnO layer with performances comparable to that produced by standard vacuum processes. First, an in-depth study of the defect physics by ab-initio calculation shows that chlorine is one of the best candidates to dope the ZnO. This result is experimentally confirmed by a complete optical analysis of the ZnO layer deposited in a chloride rich solution. We demonstrate that high doping levels (>10(20)cm(-3)) and mobilities (up to 20cm(2) V(-1) s(-1)) can be reached by insertion of chlorine in the lattice. The process developed in this study has been applied on a CdS/Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 p-n junction produced in a pilot line by a non vacuum process, to be tested as solar cell front contact deposition method. As a result efficiency of 14.3% has been reached opening the way of atmospheric production of Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 solar cell.

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