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Sputtered ZnSnO Buffer Layers for Kesterite Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 07.02.2020, 14:46 by Louis Grenet, Fabrice Emieux, Jacob Andrade-Arvizu, Eric De Vito, Géraldine Lorin, Yudania Sánchez, Edgardo Saucedo, Frédéric Roux
Replacing the CdS buffer layer with a ZnSnO one in Cu2ZnSnS4-based solar cells allows both to improve the device performances and to avoid using toxic Cd. Additionally, using a sputtered buffer layer is a major asset for solar cells fabricated by physical vapor deposition processes. In this study, ZnSnO layers are deposited by sputtering of a single metal oxide target. Structural and optical properties of the layers deposited on Si or glass are first described. The possibility of modifying the ZnSnO metallic composition by adjusting the deposition power is demonstrated. Attempts to improve the optoelectronic properties of the ZnSnO layers with Ar:O2 or Ar:SF6 reactive sputtering are shown as well. These ZnSnO buffer layers are transferred in Mo/CZTS/ZnSnO/ZnO:Al solar cells. After postdeposition thermal treatment and optimization of the deposition condition (notably with the use of Ar:O2 or Ar:SF6 reactive sputtering), a solar cell with a power conversion efficiency of 5.2% is demonstrated. It is 0.6% absolute higher than the reference solar cell with a CdS buffer layer. To avoid absorber damaging and achieve high performances, deposition power must be as low as possible. A two-stage sputtering process is used to conciliate both the absorber surface preservation and a reasonable deposition time. Last, photovoltaic properties of optimized CZTS- and CZTSe-based solar cells with ZnSnO buffer layers are compared.

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