Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.E.E.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Chris Ferekides.

Keywords

Semiconductors, Thin films, Transparent conducting materials, Sputtering, Interdiffusion

Abstract

The electrical conductivity of transparent conducting oxides is well exploited in front surface electrodes for solar cells where high transmission is also important. Fluorine doped tin oxide (SnO2: F) is the most popular choice of front contacts for CdTe solar cells. In this thesis, Cd2SnO4 and Zn2SnO4 thin films are investigated focusing on their electrical and optical properties and used them in solar cells. Processing for these materials is optimized for optimum solar cell performance. Cd2SnO4 thin films are deposited by co-sputtering of CdO and SnO2 targets in Ar ambient at room temperature. Then films are subjected to high temperature annealing in He ambient. The films crystallize in inverse spinel structure. The average transmission of a Cd2SnO4 thin film with a thickness of 2500[angstrom] obtained in this study is 92%. The lowest resistivity obtained in this work for a Cd2SnO4 film with a thickness of 2500[angstrom] is 5.4 X10-4 cm.

The effect of stoichiometry on structure, optical and electrical properties of Cd2SnO4 is studied by varying the amount of CdO and SnO2 in the Cd2SnO4 film. Zinc stannate thin films are deposited by co-sputtering of ZnO and SnO2 targets in Ar ambient at both room temperature and elevated temperatures. As deposited and high temperature annealed Zn2SnO4 thin films are highly resistive. The average transmission of a Zn2SnO4 thin film with a thickness of 2000[angstrom] and annealed at 600ʻC in He has been 94%. Zn2SnO4 thin films are incorporated as a buffer layers into CdTe solar cells. SnO2: F is used as a front contact in CdTe solar cells in conjunction with high resistive Zn2SnO4 buffer layer.The best SnO2:F /zinc stannate cell device performance for room temperature deposited zinc stannate film resulted for the device with Zn/Sn =2.1. It has an efficiency of 12.43% with VOC = 810mV, FF = 66.6% and JSC = 23.1 mA.

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