Investigating PID Shunting in Polycrystalline CIGS Devices via Multi-Scale, Multi-Technique Characterization

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We investigated potential-induced degradation (PID) in CuIn 1-x Ga x Se 2 (CIGS) mini-modules stressed in the laboratory. Small cores were removed from the modules and were subjected to analysis. We completed a proof-of-concept correlative study relating cathodoluminescence to sodium content via time-of-flight secondary-ion mass spectrometry imaging. By comparing one-dimensional depth profile results and three-dimensional tomography results on stressed and unstressed CIGS mini-modules, we can see that PID in CIGS results from sodium migration through absorber, most likely via grain boundaries. Potassium concentration distributions show little change when adding a voltage bias to a temperature and humidity stress. This suggests doping with other large alkali ions, such as cesium and rubidium, rather than sodium can increase the PID resistance of CIGS modules.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8630404
Pages (from-to)559-564
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-71525


  • Cathodoluminescence (CL)
  • CIGS
  • potential-induced degradation (PID)
  • SIMS
  • Sodium
  • time-of-flight secondary-ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)


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