Electrical Characterization and Comparison of CIGS Solar Cells Made with Different Structures and Fabrication Techniques

Rebekah Garris, Steven Johnston, Lorelle Mansfield, Harvey Guthrey, Jian Li, Kannan Ramanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus Citations


In a previous paper [1], we reported on Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based (CIGS) solar cell samples collected from different research laboratories and industrial companies with the purpose of understanding the range of CIGS materials that can lead to high-quality and high-efficiency solar panels. Here, we report on electrical measurements of those same samples. Electron-beam induced current and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) gave insights about the collection probability and the lifetime of carriers generated in each absorber. Capacitance and drive-level capacitance profiling revealed nonuniformity in carrier-density profiles. Admittance spectroscopy revealed small activation energies (≤ 0.03 eV) indicative of the inversion strength, larger activation energies (> 0.1 eV) reflective of thermal activation of absorber conductivity and a deeper defect level. Deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) probed deep hole-trapping defects and showed that all samples in this study had a majority-carrier defect with activation energy between 0.3 eV and 0.9 eV. Optical-DLTS revealed deep electron-trapping defects in several of the CIGS samples. This work focused on revealing similarities and differences between high-quality CIGS solar cells made with various structures and fabrication techniques.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-67143


  • Admittance spectroscopy
  • Cross-sectional electron-beam induced current (EBIC)
  • Cu(In,Ga)Se (CIGS)
  • Deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS)
  • Thin-film photovoltaics
  • Time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL)


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