Chemical etching of Sb2Se3 solar cells: surface chemistry and back contact behaviour

Shiel, Huw, Hutter, Oliver, Phillips, Laurie J, Turkestani, Mohammed Al, Dhanak, Vin R, Veal, Tim D, Durose, Ken and Major, Jonathan D (2019) Chemical etching of Sb2Se3 solar cells: surface chemistry and back contact behaviour. Journal of Physics: Energy, 1 (4). 045001. ISSN 2515-7655

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The effect of (NH4)2S and CS2 chemical etches on surface chemistry and contacting in Sb2Se3 solar cells was investigated via a combination of x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and photovoltaic device analysis. Thin film solar cells were produced in superstrate configuration with an absorber layer deposited by close space sublimation. Devices of up to 5.7% efficiency were compared via current–voltage measurements (J–V) and temperature-dependent current–voltage (J–V–T) analysis. XPS analysis demonstrated that both etching processes were successful in removing Sb2O3 contamination, while there was no decrease in free elemental selenium content by either etch, in contrast to prior work. Using J–V–T analysis the removal of Sb2O3 at the back surface in etched samples was found to improve contacting by reducing the potential barrier at the back contact from 0.43 eV to 0.26 eV and lowering the series resistance. However, J–V data showed that due to the decrease in shunt resistance and short-circuit current as a result of etching, the devices show a lower efficiency following both etches, despite a lowering of the series resistance. Further optimisation of the etching process yielded an improved efficiency of 6.6%. This work elucidates the role of surface treatments in Sb2Se3 devices and resolves inconsistencies in previously published works.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is acknowledged for funding of HS (Grant No. EP/N509693/1), OSH and KD (Grant No. EP/M024768/1), LJP and JDM (Grant No. EP/N014057/1), and VRD and TDV (Grant No. EP/N015800/1). The XRD facility was supported by the EPSRC under Grant No. EP/P001513/1.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antimony selenide, Etching, Photoemission, Photovoltaics, SbSe, Solar cells, XPS
Subjects: F300 Physics
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 10:41
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 10:45

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