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Blistering of magnetron sputtered thin film CdTe devices

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conference contribution
posted on 16.11.2017 by Piotr M. Kaminski, Sibel Yilmaz, Ali Abbas, Francesco Bittau, Jake Bowers, Rachael Greenhalgh, Michael Walls
Magnetron sputtering is an industrially scalable technique for thin film deposition. It provides excellent coating uniformity and the deposition can be conducted at relatively low substrate temperatures. It is widely used in the manufacture of solar modules. However, its use for the deposition of thin film CdTe devices results in unusual problems. Blisters appear on the surface of the device and voids occur in the CdTe absorber. These problems appear after the cadmium chloride activation treatment. The voids often occur at the CdS/CdTe interface causing catastrophic delamination. This problem has been known for more than 25 years, but the mechanisms leading to blistering have not been understood. Using High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy we have discovered that during the activation process, argon trapped during the sputtering process diffuses in the lattice to form gas bubbles. The gas bubbles grow by agglomeration particularly at grain boundaries and at interfaces. The growth of the bubbles eventually leads to void formation and blistering.

Funding

The authors are grateful to UKERC for funding this work through the EPSRC grant (EP/N508433/1).

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

44th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC)

Citation

KAMINSKI, P.M. ... et al, 2017. Blistering of magnetron sputtered thin film CdTe devices. Presented at the 2017 44th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialist Conference (PVSC), Washington, DC, USA, 25th-30th June 2017, pp. 3430 - 3434.

Publisher

IEEE

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Acceptance date

25/06/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

ISBN

9781509056057

Language

en

Location

Washington, DC USA

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