Determination of back contact barrier height in Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 and CdTe solar cells

Galymzhan T. Koishiyev, James R. Sites, Sachin S. Kulkarni, Neelkanth G. Dhere

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

21 Citations (Scopus)


A relatively straightforward technique has been developed to quantify the energy barrier for holes between a Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 (CIGSeS) or CdTe absorber and the back-contact metallization. The input data is the current-voltage (J-V) curves for the solar cell measured over a range of temperatures. The key parameter is the 'turning current' Jt, which is the current at the transition from the positive J-V curvature of a diode to the negative curvature associated with current limitation at a contact barrier. The analytical strategy is to calculate a series of Jt vs. T curves for different values of barrier height and then overlay the experimental values of Jt. Generally the experimental data follow a single barrier-height curve over a wide temperature range. The presentation will describe the turning point technique and apply it to specific solar-cell examples. The range of Jt that can be practically identified extends from approximately 0.1 to 80 mA/cm2. Assuming that temperatures between 220 and 340 K are available, the range of barriers that can be determined is between 0.30 and 0.55 eV. This is also the practical range, since lower barriers do not have a measurable effect on the power quadrant and higher ones effectively kill the performance of the cell. Many CIGSeS and CdTe cells, however, do have a back-contact barrier in the 0.30 to 0.55 eV range, and the ability to determine it can assist both cell analysis and process optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008
Event33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: May 11 2008May 16 2008

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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