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Development of novel materials for solar cells
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

More efficient and cheaper solar cells are necessary if photovoltaics are to play a major rolein the field of sustainable power generation. Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGSe) is one of the best suited materials for thin film solar cell absorbers. One production method for thin film manufacturing is sputtering, a fast, high-yield, all-dry process that can be performed in an unbroken vacuum chain. The sputter target, which provides the raw material for this process, is an important link to obtain high quality films. Furthermore, the targets stands for the single largest cost in solar cells produced through the method. Hence, driving down the target production costs while maintaining or increasing quality is a vital route towards competitive photovoltaic power generation. In this project, compound CIGSe sputter target material was produced via mechanical alloying of elemental raw materials, followed by hot pressing. The resulting material obtained a relative density above 90% in all samples, with close compositional matching and grain sizes between 20-50 µm. Electrical characterization indicated predominantly p-type majority carriers, and the resistivity was within the range of industrially produced targets. Suitable process parameters are suggested as follows: for ball milling; 600rpm rotational speed, a ball-to-powder ratio of 5:1, and a milling time of 60-120 min. For pressing: 650-750˚C peak temperature, maintained for 1-2 h under 25-60 MPa pressure. 30 min dwell time at peak temperature before pressure application was found to reduce porosity. An initial composition of 23.2/20/6.5/50 at% of Cu, In, Ga, and Se, respectively, was found appropriate to obtain a final composition close to 22.8/20/7/50.2 at%. The project has proven that mechanical alloying combined with hot pressing provides a promising route towards efficient sputter target manufacturing, where the reduction of process operations compared to conventional manufacturing methods entails an optimistic economic outlook.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sputter target, CIGSe, chalcopyrite, compound, mechanical alloying, milling, hot pressing
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-171090OAI: diva2:842335
2014-12-18, Bäckströmrummet, Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-08-10 Created: 2015-07-19 Last updated: 2015-08-10Bibliographically approved

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