The impact of moisture ingress on the surface of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells was studied. While industry-scale modules are encapsulated in specialized polymers and glass, over time, the glass can break and the encapsulant can degrade. During such conditions, water can potentially degrade the interior layers and decrease performance. The first layer the water will come in contact with is the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layer. To simulate the impact of this moisture ingress, complete devices were immersed in deionized water. To identify the potential sources of degradation, a common window layer for CIGS devices—a bilayer of intrinsic zinc oxide (i-ZnO) and conductive indium tin oxide (ITO)—was deposited. The thin films were then analyzed both pre and post water soaking. To determine the extent of ingress, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) was performed on completed devices to analyze impurity diffusion (predominantly sodium and potassium) in the devices. The results were compared to device measurements, and indicated a degradation of device efficiency (mostly fill factor, contrary to previous studies), potentially due to a modification of the alkali profile.
Original Publication Citation
Poudel, D., Karki, S., Belfore, B., Rajan, G., Atluri, S. S., Soltanmohammad, S., Rockett, A., & Marsillac, S. (2020). Degradation mechanism due to water ingress effect on the top contact of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells. Energies, 13(17), 12 pp., Article 4545. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174545
Poudel, Deewakar; Karki, Shankar; Belfore, Benjamin; Rajan, Grace; Atluri, Sushma Swaraj; Soltanmohammad, Sina; Rockett, Angus; and Marsillac, Sylvain, "Degradation Mechanism Due to Water Ingress Effect on the Top Contact of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells" (2020). Electrical & Computer Engineering Faculty Publications. 269.
0000-0001-8069-8602 (Poudel), 0000-0002-3173-8505 (Karki), 0000-0003-4000-6928 (Rajan), 0000-0003-0826-8119 (Marsillac)