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Investigations on the mechanical properties of the elementary thin films composing a CuIn1 − xGaxSe2 solar cell using the nanoindentation technique

By Hocine ABIB, Alain IOST, Alex MONTAGNE, Khadidja RAHMOUN, Boubakeur AYACHI and Jean-Pierre VILCOT


In this investigation, the mechanical properties of the different layers composing a CuIn1 − xGaxSe2 (CIGS) based solar cell were studied. Magnetron sputtering technique was used for the deposition of these layers except for the cadmium sulphide (CdS) layer which was deposited using chemical bath deposition process. We performed several indentation tests on the individual layers, i.e. molybdenum (Mo) back contact layer, CIGS absorber layer, CdS and alternative zinc sulphide oxide (ZnOS) buffer layers, and zinc oxide (ZnO)-AZO (aluminium-doped zinc oxide) transparent window layer; all were deposited on glass substrates. We report the values of the hardness (H) and of the Young's modulus (E) for each material, using indentation tests and an analytical model. The Mo layer remained the hardest and the most rigid, with H = 8.7 GPa and E = 185 GPa, while the CIGS layer has shown poor mechanical properties with H=3GPa and E=58 GPa. On the other hand, the observed similarity in mechanical properties of the ZnO and ZnOS layers might be attributed to the similarity of their microstructures

Topics: Copper indium gallium selenide, Solar cells, Mechanical properties, Hardness, Young modulus, Nanoindentation, Physique: matière Condensée: Science des matériaux, Sciences de l'ingénieur: Matériaux, Sciences de l'ingénieur: Mécanique: Mécanique des matériaux
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.tsf.2016.11.013
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