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Inert gas cluster formation in sputter-deposited thin film CdTe solar cells

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2019, 09:21 authored by Peter Hatton, Pooja Goddard, Roger SmithRoger Smith, Ali AbbasAli Abbas, Christos Potamialis, Rachael GreenhalghRachael Greenhalgh, Michael WallsMichael Walls
Magnetron sputtering is widely used for thin film deposition because it is a relatively low temperature process which also produces films with excellent uniformity. Unfortunately, in its use for the deposition of thin film CdTe devices, the inert working gas from the magnetron can incorporate into the film during the growth process and aggregate into large subsurface clusters during post processing. The gas clusters often occur at the CdS/CdTe interface causing delamination and blisters up to about 30 µm in diameter are readily observable on the film’s surface. The surface blisters are observed after post processing with CdCl2 at an elevated temperature but smaller inert gas clusters of several nanometres in diameter can be observed using high resolution transmission electron microscopy before the CdCl2 treatment. In this paper, these effects are investigated both experimentally and using molecular dynamics modelling. Some suggestions are also made as to how the effect might be minimised and higher efficiency solar devices fabricated.

Funding

EPSRC grant (EP/N508433/1)

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

Thin Solid Films

Volume

692

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Thin Solid Films and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2019.137614

Acceptance date

08/09/2019

Publication date

2019-10-12

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0040-6090

Language

en

Depositor

Mr Peter Hatton Deposit date: 31 October 2019

Article number

137614