Advanced light management techniques for two-terminal hybrid tandem solar cells

Blanker, A. J., Berendsen, P., Phung, N., Vroon, Z. A. E. P., Zeman, M. & Smets, A. H. M. (2018).
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 181, 77.

Multi-junction solar cells are considered for various applications, as they tackle various loss mechanisms for single junction solar cells. These losses include thermalization and non-absorption below the band gap. In this work, a tandem configuration comprising copper-indium-gallium-di-selenide (CIGS) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) absorber layers is studied. Two main challenges are addressed in this work. Firstly, the natural roughness of CIGS is unfavorable for monolithically growing a high quality a-Si:H top cell. Some sharp textures in the CIGS induce shunts in the a-Si:H top junction, limiting the electrical performance of such a
configuration. To smoothen this interface, the possibility of mechanically polishing the intermediate i-ZnO layer has been explored. The second challenge that is addressed, is the significant current mismatch in these tandem architectures. To enhance absorption in the current-limiting top cell, the ZnO:Al front electrode was textured by means of wet-etching the entire tandem stack. We demonstrated that one can manipulate the morphology of the random textures by varying the growth conditions of the ZnO:Al, leading to better light management in these devices.