Title
KCN chemical etch for interface engineering in <tex>$Cu_{2}ZnSnSe_{4}$</tex> solar cells KCN chemical etch for interface engineering in <tex>$Cu_{2}ZnSnSe_{4}$</tex> solar cells
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Physics
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
ACS applied materials and interfaces
Volume/pages
7(2015) :27 , p. 14690-14698
ISSN
1944-8244
ISI
000358395200019
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The removal of secondary phases from the surface of the kesterite crystals is one of the major challenges to improve the performances of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)(4) (CZTSSe) thin film solar cells. In this Contribution, the KCN/KOH Chemical etching approach, originally developed for the removal of CuxSe phases in Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)(2) thin films) is applied to CZTSe absorbers exhibiting various chemical compositions. Two distinct electrical behaviors were observed on CZTSe/CdS solar cells after treatment: (i) the improvement of the fill factor (FF) after 30 s of etching for the CZTSe absorbers showing initially a distortion of the electrical characteristic; (ii) the progressive degradation Of the FF after long treatment time for all Cu-poor CZTSe solar cell samples. The first effect can be attributed to the action of KCN on the absorber, that is found to clean the absorber free surface from most of the secondary phases surrounding the kesterite grains (e.g., Se-0, CuxSe, SnSex, SnO2, Cu2SnSe3 phases, excepting the ZnSe-based phases). The second observation was identified as a consequence of the preferential etching of Se, Sn, and Zn from the CZTSe surface by the KOH solution, combined with the modification of the alkali content of the absorber. The formation of a Cu-rich shell at the absorber/buffer layer interface, leading to the increase of the recombination rate at the interface, and the increase in the doping of the absorber layer after etching are found to be at the origin of the deterioration of the FF of the solar cells.
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