The main area for potential improvement of CIGS thin film PV is performance reliability and uniformity as manufacturing is scaled up. Materials characterization using surface analytical methods provided by EAG are used to support R&D for efficiency improvements and also production ramps.
All the major layers can be characterized with EAG analytical techniques, leading to improved knowledge of the samples and hence the ability to relate the characterization information to efficiency measurements and also production and process conditions
The following components are commonly analyzed:
1. Substrate (e.g. glass. metal, polymer) and metal coating (e.g. Mo)
Mo thickness: XRR
Mo microstructure: XRD (for phase ID), SEM, AFM
Oxygen content in Mo: XPS, RBS
Na content: SIMS (can be done through the entire structure)
Substrate defects: AFM, AES
2. CIGS layer
Grain morphology and voids: SEM, TEM
Grain composition: STEM/EDS, AES
Film composition: SIMS, AES
Impurities and Na content: SIMS
Phase ID: XRD
Surface stoichiometry: XPS
3. Upper Layers (CdS, ZnO, TCO)
Thickness and composition: XRR, RBS
4. Failure analysis for organic components (all layers)
FTIR, GCMS, XPS, Raman, or TOF-SIMS.
5. Starting materials purity
GDMS, ICP-MS, ICP-OES.
Further information is available here.