The Electronic Structure of Chalcopyrites - Bands, Point Defects and Grain Boundaries

Susanne Siebentritt, Malgorzata Igalson, Clas Persson, Stephan Lany

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234 Scopus Citations


We summarize the progress made recently in understanding the electronic structure of chalcopyrites. New insights into the dispersion of valence and conduction band allow conclusions on the effective masses of charge carriers and their orientation dependence, which influences the transport in solar cell absorbers of different orientation. Native point defects are responsible for the doping and thus the band bending in solar cells. Results of optoelectronic defect spectroscopy are reviewed. Native defects are also the source for a number of metastabilities, which strongly affect the efficiency of solar cells. Recent theoretical findings relate these effects to the Se vacancy and the InCu antisite defect. Experimentally determined activation energies support these models. Absorbers in chalcopyrite solar cells are polycrystalline, which is only possible because of the benign character of the grain boundaries. This can be related to an unusual electronic structure of the GB.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)390-410
Number of pages21
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-590-47197


  • Chalcopyrites
  • Defects
  • Electronic structure
  • Grain boundaries
  • Metastabilities


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