Combinatorial Chemical Bath Deposition of CdS Contacts for Chalcogenide Photovoltaics

Krishnaiah Mokurala, Lauryn L. Baranowski, Francisco W. De Souza Lucas, Sebastian Siol, Maikel F.A.M. Van Hest, Sudhanshu Mallick, Parag Bhargava, Andriy Zakutayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus Citations


Contact layers play an important role in thin film solar cells, but new material development and optimization of its thickness is usually a long and tedious process. A high-throughput experimental approach has been used to accelerate the rate of research in photovoltaic (PV) light absorbers and transparent conductive electrodes, however the combinatorial research on contact layers is less common. Here, we report on the chemical bath deposition (CBD) of CdS thin films by combinatorial dip coating technique and apply these contact layers to Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) and Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) light absorbers in PV devices. Combinatorial thickness steps of CdS thin films were achieved by removal of the substrate from the chemical bath, at regular intervals of time, and in equal distance increments. The trends in the photoconversion efficiency and in the spectral response of the PV devices as a function of thickness of CdS contacts were explained with the help of optical and morphological characterization of the CdS thin films. The maximum PV efficiency achieved for the combinatorial dip-coating CBD was similar to that for the PV devices processed using conventional CBD. The results of this study lead to the conclusion that combinatorial dip-coating can be used to accelerate the optimization of PV device performance of CdS and other candidate contact layers for a wide range of emerging absorbers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalACS Combinatorial Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-66839


  • buffer layer
  • CIGSe
  • current-voltage characteristics
  • CZTSe
  • external quantum efficiency
  • solar cells


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