Synchrotron X-ray characterization of alkali elements at grain boundaries in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells

Bradley West, Michael Stuckelberger, Harvey Guthrey, Lei Chen, Barry Lai, Jorg Maser, Volker Rose, James J. Dynes, William Shafarman, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Mariana Bertoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It is well known that the addition of alkali elements such as Na and K during and after growth of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) has beneficial effects on the electronic properties of bulk material, improving device performance significantly. While the device level effects have been measured and reported, a direct observations of the localization of Na including its chemical nature are missing, and the impact of Na on elemental and phase segregation during CIGS growth is not fully understood. We investigate these aspects to shine light on the role of Na in CIGS solar cells with the ultimate goal of increasing their conversion efficiency. Utilizing a suite of synchrotron based x-ray characterization techniques, we discuss the challenges and advantages of these techniques for investigating segregation of main constituents of CIGS, Na distribution, chemical bonding of Na, and collection efficiency in CIGS as well as their correlations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509056057
StatePublished - May 25 2018
Event44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017 - Washington, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 30 2017


Other44th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2017
CountryUnited States


  • Alkali
  • CIGS
  • Grain boundaries
  • Na
  • XRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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