Thin Film Photovoltaic Devices With A Minimally Conductive Buffer Layer

Teresa Barnes (Inventor), James Burst (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


A thin film photovoltaic device (100) with a tunable, minimally conductive buffer (128) layer is provided. The photovoltaic device (100) may include a back contact (150), a transparent front contact stack (120), and an absorber (140) positioned between the front contact stack (120) and the back contact (150). The front contact stack (120) may include a low resistivity transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layer (124) and a buffer layer (128) that is proximate to the absorber layer (140). The photovoltaic device (100) may also include a window layer (130) between the buffer layer (128) and the absorber (140). In some cases, the buffer layer (128) is minimally conductive, with its resistivity being tunable, and the buffer layer (128) may be formed as an alloy from a host oxide and a high-permittivity oxide. The high-permittivity oxide may further be chosen to have a bandgap greater than the host oxide.
Original languageAmerican English
Patent number9,496,426
Filing date15/11/16
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PT-5J00-70250


  • absorber
  • conductive buffer
  • photovoltaic
  • TCO
  • thin-film
  • transparent conductive oxide


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